Kanawha-Charleston humanitarian officer named unsung hero
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Jerry Anderson, an animal control officer with the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association (KCHA), has been named a Petco Love Unsung Hero for his efforts to save animals.
Anderson is one of five countries to receive this award in 2022, winning a $10,000 Petco grant for the animal welfare organization of his choice. Animal lovers can vote for Anderson to be the No. 1 unsung national hero, which would net the KCHA a $25,000 grant.
Anderson was a hero for the animals and his country – he’s an Army veteran who served 15 years in overseas deployments. Those who know Anderson describe him as generous, humble and big-hearted. As a Humanitarian Officer, he has dedicated his life to helping animals in Kanawha County for nearly 10 years. Petco Love said Anderson possesses “the remarkable ability to help – whether people or animals – with patience, compassion and love”.
“When I take an animal or help an animal, it makes me feel good because I know that I am giving them help. … Animals, they have feelings, they have life. You know what I mean? They understand.”
Jerry Anderson, 2022 Petco Unsung Hero & KCHA Animal Control Officer
KCHA executive director Bethany Hively said Anderson was employed at the shelter in 2012, and is the only employee still there since the association ended unnecessary euthanasia in 2013. Chelsea Staley, former executive director of KCHA, said Anderson had the ability to connect and resonate with people, gain their trust and make them feel understood rather than judged. Over the years, Anderson has donated pet food to members of the community who needed help.
“Jerry always hooks me up with dog food and stuff, always,” one community member said. “So that my animals don’t starve, because Jerry helps me.”
Since 2018, Petco Love has honored unsung heroes who have dedicated their time to helping animals and having a life-saving impact. Susanna Kogut, president of Petco Love, said after hearing Anderson’s story, the organization wanted to honor her efforts to save lives.
“Celebrating extraordinary people like Jerry who have gone above and beyond to save animal lives despite difficult circumstances, and telling their stories, is our way of saying thank you, and I hope these stories will inspire others. become pet heroes too,” Kogut said. .
Victoria Stilwell, well-known dog trainer and founder of Positively, traveled across the United States with Petco Love to record a series of online videos about Petco Love’s unsung heroes.
“Jerry’s story is encouraging,” Stilwell said. “It’s a huge honor to have recorded his dedication to saving animal lives. Seeing the incredible work done by these amazing people in their communities is inspiring and I’m so excited that a wider audience can witness their work. amazing via the Unsung Heroes video series.
The video on Anderson and the KCHA can be viewed here. To submit a vote for the Unsung National Hero, click here.
Voting will close at 12 p.m. on Monday, April 18.