When Mary Ann Massa felt she was missing fulfillment in her life, she decided to make a difference by helping animals.
The Merrillville resident began volunteering with the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana, 6100 Melton Road, Gary, 13 years ago and now serves as Volunteer Coordinator.
“Most of these animals come from broken homes, loss of income, death of owners, abuse or neglect” she said. “They give unconditional love as we try to find them their forever home. They need us and I feel that I am there for them.”
The Miller Beach shelter currently houses nearly 100 animals, and Massa admits the largest struggle is the financial one.
“We take in so many animals and always provide them with the medical care they may need,” she said.
“Many people who have never visited our shelter at first think that our facility is a run down and dirty place with sick animals. That is, until they come in and see what a beautiful place it is.”
“Until we can change people's minds, it will always be a struggle to bring in funds,” she said.
In addition to cash, donations of bleach, paper towels, Pedigree Puppy Food, clay cat litter and Purina Kitten Food are needed at the shelter. Visit www.millercritters.net for more information about the shelter.
An owner of four rescued animals, Massa works weekends at various adoption events, community days and festivals at the shelter.
“The joy of seeing a match made between an animal and its new owner makes the work worthwhile,” she said.
Massa is a member of SS. Peter and Paul Church in Merrillville, where she sings in the choir and serves as a lector.
She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University Northwest, and teaches fourth grade at Glen Park Academy in Gary.
“Every day is a new experience. I enjoy seeing the students enlightened with ideas of learning,” she said.
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