Sheltering Hands Welcomes Our New Adoptions Supervisor

Penny_Stanley_picWith bright eyes and a big smile, Penny Stanley talks about her new position as the Adoption Supervisor for Sheltering Hands. “I’m excited to get started,” she states with enthusiasm. “With the new procedures for fosters and adoptions, I believe we can accomplish more adoptions and attract more wonderful volunteers to serve at the PetSmart Adoption Center.”Just a few minutes of conversation with Penny reveal her wide-ranging experience and her sense of adventure. Born in Davenport, this Iowa native majored in education and opened a child-care center for the local community school district after college. After this success, she relocated to Michigan with her husband, Mark. She found work in a veterinary clinic, which suited her love of animals and her skill in helping people.Next stop for the couple was Ocala in 2003, where Penny was a staff member at Brick City Cat Hospital for seven years. “Most of what I know about cats and their care I learned at Brick City,” Penny states. “I received a wonderful education there, and I tried to learn everything I could”.
More recently, she has been a staff member at PetSmart in Ocala, and became a support manager, then dog trainer. Her familiarity with PetSmart and its policies as well as her friendly interactions with Sheltering Hands volunteers made her especially well-suited to the position of Adoptions Supervisor. As the loving guardian of three dogs and one cat, Penny is particularly interested in increasing adoptions while taking the time to consider all factors of the cat’s personality and the adoptive home and family. “It is important to avoid poor matches,” she states. “We at Sheltering Hands are here to help each person and family pick the cat that will fit best for their situation. Folks may not realize that you don’t adopt a cat by pointing to it and saying, I’ll take that one. People need to learn about the cat’s personality and background. They need to hold the cat and interact with it. And we, as adoption assistants, need to consider whether there are children in the home, other animals present, and many other factors that will determine the quality of the cat’s life.”Penny is hopeful of increasing adoptions and helping Sheltering Hands become better known in the community. “We don’t need to re-invent the wheel, but we can step-up our presence on social media and participate in more events in Marion County. And I would love to see more of our adult cats placed in homes with senior families in the area, to be companions in a non-stressful environment.”
Penny also enjoys developing her creative side by making items to sell in her Etsy shop, “Shadows of Love”. Pet memorial jewelry is especially popular with her customers: necklaces with pendants holding some hair or ashes of a beloved pet that has died. “I make shadow boxes, book marks, and other inexpensive decorative articles for fun,“ she says, “but the most popular items are the pet memorial necklaces.”
As she assumes the duties of Adoption Supervisor and dives in to improve several aspects of the adoption center, Penny’s primary goal remains increasing adoptions while helping to make the best possible match between cat and adopter. Summing it up, she says, “If you really are committed to bonding with a cat you are going to love and keep forever, let us at Sheltering Hands help you find that cat.”

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