People, Places & Events



Athens shelter gets new name and new lease on life
A.S.A.P of East Texas offers second chances
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–There are a lot of changes happening at the Animal Shelter run by the Henderson County Humane Society.
From the name, to the mission, to the facility, changes for this progressive community program have been taking place.
The curious might have noticed the construction project, completing the new Animal Control Facility.
As part of the agreement with Henderson County officials, the Athens shelter has constructed new kennels, exclusively for Animal Control Officers.
Last year’s financial support from Henderson County commissioners provided the funds needed to complete the project.
Ten new kennels on concrete slabs with covers meet state guidelines. Plus, the facility will be available to officers 24/7 without interfering with the care of other animals at the shelter.
There will no longer be a reason for the animals to be left in cages and on trucks for any length of time.
“This is something we have dreamed of for many years to better serve the city and county officials who work with us for the protection and care of the animals and residents throughout the region,” Shelter director Amy Lambert said.
The changes do not stop with the new Animal Control Division. The Lambert-Jensen Spay-Neuter/Special Care building will soon be completed to provide in-house neutering surgeries required for all animals adopted from shelters.
Even though at times only the metal shell existed, the building has been in constant use to provide special care for animals in need – such as the 35 dachshunds surrendered to the shelter last spring, or the 50 fighting roosters seized by law enforcement two years ago.
With these new buildings, nothing remains of the original facility, which began serving the community 18 years ago. However, some of the dame people who have worked, and continue to work, tirelessly to improve the care of animals in the area remain.
The core of the shelter, a state-of-the-art facility which houses most of the animals in the shelter’s care, was built 10 years ago, replacing a small wooden structure.
The yard areas are fenced, old buildings removed, the clinic constructed, and kennels replaced – all through the hard work and generous support of area residents.
Over that 10-year period nearly all of the funding came from the city of Athens, the Litter Box thrift shop, contracts with nearby communities, adoption fees, contributions from supporters, and the $10 surrender fee.
Without any one of these sources of income, the Henderson County Humane Society Animal Shelter would have closed its doors, as many other shelters have in the state.
With the new contract and support of Henderson County Commissioners, which began in January, the Shelter is able to drop the $10 fee for those kind enough to bring in stray animals.
There are other changes in shelter policy, as well.
Beginning this month, the Shelter will be open Fridays, as well as Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Volunteer Nancy Long reports amazing success with placing shelter animals through Employing it has greatly improved the adoption rate of animals needing a second chance.
Tractor Supply Company in Athens has volunteered to sponsor “TSC Adoption Day,” allowing volunteers to “show off” the exceptional animals available through shelter adoptions, in their parking lot each month.
Community involvement has also been growing the shelter’s Foster Care Program, which asks volunteer families to foster animals until they are adopted.
The Foster Program is particularly important for some animals, like females with puppies, who do not do well in the active shelter environment. The agency will soon have a webpage and credit card capabilities to provide shelter news and promote adoptions and contributions.
In conjunction with the significant changes, the board of directors has made numerous changes to policy and programs.
First and foremost, the board will promote the “No Need to Kill” agenda of shelters throughout the nation.
For many years, “No Kill” was the mantra for animal welfare groups. The problem with the “no kill” movement was that those facilities were “selective” in the animals they would take – leaving many people and animals with no place to go.
What could be done with the 12 black puppies left at a farmer’s gate?
“No Kill” facilities would not take them knowing they could not all be adopted – so the responsibility would be passed to an “open shelter” which takes in all animals in need.
Today, the movement among animal groups that deal with the realities of animal care are promoting education, owner responsibility, and spay-neuter programs to reach a point of “No Need To Kill” because there would be a home for all animals in need.
Along with this new mission, the board also adopted a new name for the Athens shelter.
“We have spent many years trying to escape ‘the pound’ label and identification as a government-run facility,” board member Ellen Barton explains.
“To do this, the board members decided we needed a new name, which will be A.S.A.P of East Texas, (Animal Sheltering, Adoption, and Protection for East Texas, which describes perfectly what our organization does for the community,” Barton said.
“We have not been ‘the pound’ for nearly 20 years, and we are so excited about our future of service to the people and animals of East Texas,” she said.
To celebrate the new enthusiasm over the mission and role of citizens interested in animal care in the community, A.S.A.P. of East Texas extends an invitation to attend the monthly board meetings at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the Trinity Valley Community Center Math Building.
The organization is actively seeking members to join the board, be a volunteer, or share a common interest to attend. To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, the shelter will hold an Open House 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 31 to provide tours of the new facilities and promote adoptions.
For more information call the A.S.A.P. at (903) 677-7387.

MVFD to host candidate forum
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The Mabank Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) will host a Mabank Independent School District (MISD) Board of Trustees candidate forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in the MVFD station No. 1 located at 111 East Mason St., Mabank.
The MVFD hosted a forum for candidates running for Mabank City Council in 2007.
The MISD school board election will be held Saturday, May 10. Early voting begins Monday, April 28.
“This will be an excellent time for MISD citizens to meet and engage the candidates in an open forum. We look forward to providing those in attendance a constructive opportunity in which they can discuss the issues facing the school district,” Chief Rick Myrick said.
All candidates are invited to participate. Six candidates are vying for three school board positions.
Running for the unexpired Place 3 spot is Paul Edmondson and Tyson Johnson.
In Place 4 incumbent Mike Cathey and Jeff Gaddis face off.
The final seat, Place 5, now held by Scott Tuley, is being challenged by Todd Grimes.
Prior to the event, citizens may submit written questions.
Questions may be sent to the MVFD, Attention: Candidate Forum, P.O. Box 1233, Mabank, TX 75147, or via e-mail at
Those in attendance may pose questions during the forum.
First State Bank of Mabank vice president Ronnie Davis will moderate the forum.
The MVFD has proudly served the community since 1923.
“This is another way to bring the community together as we grow and move into the future. We hope everyone will take this chance to hear from the candidates and then vote May 10,” Myrick said.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at


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