Our new Kennel Manager, Myriah Southard, is a native to San Diego who has a background in volunteering and working with animals. Growing up in Poway, Myriah had heard of the Greyhound Adoption Center because her mom’s co-worker is long-time volunteer Shelly King. Myriah’s mom, who is an artist, even painted a portrait of one of Shelly’s greyhounds in the past. Now, Myriah and Shelly are working side-by-side during turnout!
Myriah first started volunteering with animals when she lived in the Bay Area, where she had moved for college and stayed for 12 years. “I had been volunteering at the Humane Society in San Francisco before I left, so I realized that I really enjoyed that kind of environment,” she said.
It’s this experience that spurred Myriah’s decision to apply for animal-related jobs when moving back to the San Diego area. “When I came down here, I applied for all animal jobs and ended up getting a job as a kennel assistant at Helen Woodward Animal Center in 2010,” she explained. Myriah worked her way up to manager of the boarding department at Helen Woodward and ultimately found that there was no more room for her to grow.
I got to the place at Helen Woodward where I couldn’t progress any further so when I found this opportunity, it really spoke to me and got me really excited about where the Greyhound Adoption Center is going. I’m really pleased to be a part of that.”
The Greyhound Adoption Center is constantly working to improve our processes in order to make the environment better for the hounds and the people that care for them. As kennel manager, ensuring the safety of the hounds and people is of the utmost importance, but there is so much more that goes on behind-the-scenes to make that happen. Myriah has learned this in the past month, as she’s worked tirelessly to help with every turnout shift several times, met tons of volunteers and all of the staff, and discovered some of the ins and outs of running the kennel. She’s just getting started, but already people are hopeful that their feedback about how to improve the center is being put to good use. As for Myriah, she is open to suggestions and communication, as she knows it all comes from a good place.
The reason everybody is here is the dogs. Every single volunteer and staff member truly cares for these dogs and that’s evident in their work.”
When asked what she would say to those that are uncertain about the changes to come, her response was, “Give it a chance…. If we have an idea to try something new that may benefit the dogs, why not give it a shot? If it doesn’t work, we can always stop it or adjust it or try something new. Anything that improves the health, happiness, and safety of the dogs is a plus in my book.”
Myriah says that the focus for her right now is organization and communication. While it’s important to look at the big picture of the kennel and where it needs improvement, it all starts with the small details that staff and volunteer are bogged down with everyday, like scheduling and maintenance. That’s how she is best able to help GAC right now, until it’s time to move to broader items.
Of course, no animal lover can come to the kennel and not fall in love with a few dogs, and Myriah is no exception. She says her absolute favorite hound right now is Karisoke, who also happens to be one of our sponsor dogs. Other favorites include shy dogs Ludlow and Orleans, especially as they warm up more and more to people. At home, Myriah is greeted by cats Sweet Pea, Cheese, and Teddy, as apartment living and a busy work schedule makes it difficult to have a hound of her own right now. Good thing she has about 46 at the kennel right now to make up for that.
Thank you to Myriah for taking on this role and joining our team! We are looking forward to all that’s to come and hopeful for the future of the Greyhound Adoption Center.