Saturday, June 23, 2018
News Roundup

Humane Society of the Nature Coast names new executive director

BROOKSVILLE — The Humane Society of the Nature Coast has announced the hiring of longtime Pasco County animal welfare advocate Dina Athanassie as its new executive director. She will assume the duties held for 11 years by Joanne Schoch, who retired in February.

"I'm looking forward to working with the staff, volunteers and board members to raise awareness about our mission and to expand our facilities and services," Athanassie said.

Athanassie, 44, whose experience with nonprofit organizations includes serving on the board of directors for Florida Voices for Animals, said that among her immediate goals will be to familiarize herself with the Humane Society's ongoing fundraising efforts, including the annual Fur Ball, which is slated for Sept. 20 at Silverthorn Country Club.

Athanassie's arrival comes at a critical time for the 50-year-old no-kill Hernando County shelter, which has outlined short-term and long-term expansion goals to enable the organization to meet the growing needs of the county.

Humane Society president Lisa Judge said that although plans for new headquarters on Wiscon Road, south of Brooksville, are a few years — and a couple million dollars — from being realized, the organization hopes to break ground early next year on a new cat compound at its existing facility on Mobley Road that will double the current capacity of 60 cats.

"We have an exciting future mapped out over the next five years," Judge said. "We have a lot of work ahead, and the commitment has been made to continue building strong partnerships with the community, our business partners and our dedicated volunteer staff to meet those goals."

Bringing Athanassie aboard was key to propelling the organization forward, she said. In addition to fundraising, event planning, community outreach and communications, her responsibilities will include educating the public about the community's continuing need to support efforts to provide safe, healthy havens for pets.

"She has a strong history as a vocal proponent for animal welfare, which is what we've always promoted," Judge said.

Athanassie said she wants to change a common misconception about shelter animals, and that many people still believe homeless pets carry a stigma of inferiority.

"That is a myth," she said. "Our shelter and others are full of beautiful, smart, healthy animals waiting to be adopted and loved."

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rowdies fall to Penn FC

Rowdies fall to Penn FC

By Darek SharpTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this season, Penn FC got two goals from a former Rowdie that led the way to a win over Tampa Bay.Lucky Mkosana doubled his season total Friday in a comeback 2-1 win before an...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

At first I thought it was a snake.Because wouldn’t it be typically Florida to come home and find a snake poking its nose out from under your stove? Which wouldn’t be a problem or anything. I would just have to move out is all.But no, the creature tha...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

RIVERVIEWJaime Rodriguez, 78, popped the question Friday morning but skipped the "getting down on one knee" part."If I get on my knee, you’d have to help me," he told the emcee a moment before asking Luz Rivera to marry him.Rivera, 69, smiled and sai...
Updated: 10 hours ago