Milliman, Currier new at county animal shelter
by Clarke Davis
Scott Milliman is the new manager of the animal shelter operated by the Jefferson County Humane Society.
The 27-year-old Ottawa native became the manager in August, the day after former manager Danielle Callahan left to go home to South Carolina.
Milliman is in charge of the facility located on K-4 Highway south of Valley Falls, which serves the entire county. The number of dogs housed there is now fewer than 30 since the previous month was good for adoptions, he said. But the cat population exploded to nearly 125.
Milliman came to Jefferson County experienced in shelter management and dog obedience having first been a volunteer and then an employee of a shelter at Ottawa.
It was a rather unfortunate incident that first introduced him to the animal shelter world. He was a waiter and was in a hurry delivering Chinese food to a customer when he ran a red light that resulted in an accident.
Since he was living on a waiter’s income and broke, he opted for the judge’s alternative to a steep fine and took community service as a way to pay his debt to society.
The community service wound up being working at the animal shelter. Of course, he noted, there was the poop to scoop, but what he found was a great need to work with the animals and before long he’d found a new occupation. Whenever he could get a break from doing the necessary work he was off playing with the animals.
He’s worked with trainers to learn the techniques of working with and teaching dogs and now conducts his own dog behavior classes.
The manager became acquainted with the local humane society volunteers by working with them in the past. He made one trip here to load up eight dogs that needed “behavior attention” before they could be adopted and it was this relationship that resulted in his taking the manager’s job.
Milliman graduated from Ottawa High School and attended Pittsburg State University.
Jessica Currier is the adoption specialist at the animal shelter, a job she has held for the past couple of months.
Her job is to give tours and assist people in selecting an animal and then processing the application.
There is a waiting period of a few days between submitting an application and picking up the animal. First, it gives the person or family selecting an animal time to change their mind and, second, it gives Currier sufficient time to review the application.
She noted that her primary responsibility is just being sure the animal goes to a good home and will be well cared for.
If it’s an outdoor animal, Currier wants to be sure it’s not just a “yard ornament” and that it has a place to get out of the heat and cold.
She said the animal leaves the shelter with all of its vaccinations, a rabies tag, it’s been spayed or neutered, and the new owner gets a bag of dog food so that its diet will not be abruptly changed.
A few coupons for PetSmart products goes along with the animal. All PetSmart cats in Topeka come from the Jefferson County shelter. Some of the dogs from here are taken there on the weekends, as well.
The cats and dogs can be adopted directly from PetSmart.
Currier is an Emporia native and has spent the past 3 1/2 years employed at the animal shelter in Ottawa, the same place Scott Milliman worked.
She became acquainted with the shelter there at a time when she was personally going through a rough time in her life. She began volunteering and was spending more time with the animals than the employees were.
The shelter manager handed her an application and suggested she might as well begin working there.
Like Milliman explained, the Ottawa shelter had a relationship with the one in Jefferson County and when an opening became available here, she applied.
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