(Bowling Green)—On August 18, 2014, the Wood County Humane Society (WCHS) will dedicate a black gum tree recently planted in front of its shelter on Van Camp Road, Bowling Green, to long-time volunteer and Lifetime member Sandy Lepper.
Lepper, a fifty-two-year resident of Bowling Green, has volunteered with the non-profit organization since the mid-1990s when she retired from teaching English at Bowling Green High School (BGHS). During her time as a WCHS volunteer, Lepper has provided a variety of important services to the organization, including depositing donations to the organization for fifteen years, serving on the Board for one year, walking shelter dogs, fostering cats, and cleaning the shelter. She also has worked all of the major fundraisers for the organization, including Mutt Strut and Wine & Dine. Between 1996 and 2008, Lepper spearheaded the annual garage sale, which is held at the Wood County Fairgrounds every May.
Currently Lepper maintains the membership database for the organization. Each week she also collects donations of food and litter from several area retailers, a service that she has provided to the organization for nearly seven years.
Members of the non-profit organization, like Board member Sue Frost, are quick to acknowledge the passion and dedication that Lepper consistently demonstrates for the WCHS. Frost says, “Sandy has tirelessly volunteered hundreds and hundreds of hours to the Humane Society and we can't thank her enough for all she does for the animals, staff and Wood County community.” And Board President Lori Young notes, “Sandy's support of WCHS has been invaluable over the years and this tree is a small token of the appreciation she deserves from us."
When asked why she is so passionate about the WCHS, Lepper said that she just likes animals and she “truly enjoy[s] getting to know the staff and other volunteers.” In fact, Lepper is quite humble about her own volunteerism, acknowledging that “we have so many wonderful volunteers at the shelter in every category. We simply couldn’t do it without the volunteers.”
But members of the WCHS Board of Directors are quick to point out the many unique and important contributions that Lepper has made to the organization over the years of her involvement. Board Secretary Maria Smithers notes that Lepper “is a tireless advocate for animals,” while Board Treasurer Lori Keller says, “Sandy is a wonderful person to work with and she cares deeply for all the work the Humane Society stands for.”
Lepper and her husband, Leonard, moved to Bowling Green in 1962. Originally she was hired to teach theater, speech, and drama at BGHS, but after one year in that position, she began teaching English, a position which she held for the remainder of her tenure. While employed at BGHS, Lepper created a developmental reading lab. She also has taught reading and study skills as an Instructor at Bowling Green State University. Although Lepper admits that she “wasn’t raised a cat person,” her family currently consists of 2 children and 5 rescue cats.
These days Lepper divides her time between the WCHS and several other area organizations about which she is equally passionate. In addition to volunteering with the WCHS, Lepper is actively involved with the Wood County Democrats, for which she serves as the Committee person for the fourth ward, and BG Wheeled Meals, for which she serves as co-Chair. She also is an avid quilter.
The WCHS, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, is a full-service, no-kill shelter providing care for homeless and abused pets and investigating cruelty complaints in Wood County. In addition, the organization assists Wood County residents with its Safe Haven and food assistance programs, spay/neuter transport, and educational presentations. The WCHS provides care for hundreds of animals each year—from dogs and cats, to horses, goats, and pocket pets. The non-profit organization is funded predominantly through donations from local individuals and businesses, Community Shares of Northwest Ohio (a workplace giving campaign), and fundraisers. The Wood County Commissioners help fund a Humane Agent, but the organization receives no additional funding from national humane organizations or the government. For more information on adopting and/or volunteering, see: