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New animal shelter manager hired

Mar. 15—HERMITAGE — As someone with a lifelong passion for animals, Devin Keeley will be bringing her years of experience to the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter as the organization's new shelter manager.

Keeley, a Greenville resident with four huskies and a cat, was hired earlier this week by the animal shelter board of directors. Keeley's employment with the shelter will begin on March 25, according to a press release.

Keeley will fill the void left by former shelter Manager Angelia Sherman, who resigned effective Feb. 12.

Board President Tom Hubert said the directors were looking for a candidate who had experience working with animals in distress, experience in a veterinary office and was involved in animal control, along with a calm demeanor and leadership qualities.

After interviewing about six candidates, the board of directors voted to hire Keeley on Sunday, Hubert said.

"She had a lot of experience in different fields and she was big on technology, so she had some expertise in areas that we didn't have before," Hubert said.

Keeley is a 2008 graduate of Jamestown Area High School. She obtained her certified nursing assistant certificate from Mercer County Career Center, also in 2008.

Keeley continued her education at Sanford Brown Institute, obtaining an associate degree of specialized technology, the release states.

She went on to work for Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, and UPMC health systems as an imaging technician.

Keeley's love for animals led her to be the head technician at Fette Veterinary Clinic, Hermitage. At Fette's, she managed and trained co-workers in assisting with surgical prep, anesthesia administration, monitoring, monitoring, monitoring post surgical recovery period, the release states.

She performed routine diagnostic tests, mastered multiple medical and behavioral techniques and performed X-rays and imaging. Devin is also certified in Fear Free Training.

Expanding on her love of animals, she worked for Gails Dog Grooming and Yuppy Puppy Spa and Boutique, allowing her to enjoy quality time with her clients. Keeley is also well-versed in communicating and working with the public through part-time employment in the hospitality industry, the release states.

Keeley said she was interested in applying for the shelter manager position since she has "always been a big animal person" in both her personal and professional lives, and thought she could bring her knowledge and work ethic to the shelter.

Keeley said the Fear Free training — which helps animal-care providers reduce stress and anxiety in animals — will be an important part of working with animals that may have physical or emotional issues while in the shelter's care.

"A lot of the training is knowing what to look for in scared dogs, like their tail between their legs or if they're cowering, so then you know what to do around the dogs, like don't stand in front of them — stand to the side of them," Keeley said.

Part of Keeley's duties will also be to assist fundraising efforts toward a planned, larger animal shelter to be built at 1895 Lynnwood Drive, Hermitage. Keeley said she was very excited to be involved with that.

"The board looks forward to Ms. Keeley's leadership as we move forward with the planning and construction of our new facility. The new facility will give us the space to better serve our animal community in the Shenango Valley," the release states.

As she learns more about the shelter's operations and the shelter's staff and volunteers, Keeley said she hopes to gain the community's trust once she steps into the role.

"If someone does call us to a situation, hopefully they'll realize that they're getting the best help they could have, and that everything will be taken care of," Keeley said.

Board member Duane Piccirilli, who previously served as the board's president, said that with Keeley's hiring, the shelter "is in a good place to move forward to complete our capital campaign and continue to service our communities with animal control and shelter services."

The public will have an opportunity to meet Keeley at the animal shelter's upcoming vendor and craft show, which will be from noon to 3 p.m. April 21 at the Sharon American Legion, 1395 E. State St., Sharon.

The event will offer many kinds of baskets, food and crafts, with all proceeds going toward the animals' care, the release states.

The Shenango Valley Animal Shelter is a non-profit, no-kill shelter. More info: vist sv-as.com or the shelter's Facebook page.

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Like David L. Dye on Facebook or email him at ddye@sharonherald.com.