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Posted on Jan 21, 2019

New manager has plans for animal shelter

Aided by a mustachioed cat, Issela Navarro wants big things to happen at the animal shelter.
Hired as the Quincy Animal Shelter manager in October, Navarro wants more people to know about the place, especially now that the vacancy left when she became manager is about to be filled, in February, and the shelter will be back at full staff, and that includes Pancho, the shelter’s cat with the stripe of black fur between nose and mouth.
In charge of it all is Navarro, 28, a shelter employee since May 2012, who is quickly adjusting to the tasks that come with being the face of the shelter.
“When they ask for the manager now, it’s me, instead of me saying ‘Oh, so-and-so isn’t here,’ or ‘she’s not working today.’ I have to be the responsible one.”

Issela Navarro, the new manager at the Quincy Animal Shelter, shows a photo of the shelter’s No. 1 mascot, a cat named Pancho.
Photo by Sebastian Moraga/Post-Register

Navarro came to the top job after her predecessor, Leticia Perez, left the job to become a stay-at-home mom, Navarro said.
If things go as she plans, Navarro will also be responsible for a new era of community outreach at the shelter.
“We are going to do more events year-round so we can let more people know that the animal shelter is here,” she said.
Some events have been done, such as having children come inside and read with the shelter’s animals, a program known as Reading Buddies. Some are new, such as the partnership between the shelter and local pet food store Happy Puppy.
“For every adoption from us, people will receive a 20 percent (one-time discount) from Happy Puppy,” she said.
She said she wants the shelter to partner with places such as The Cambridge Assisted Living and the Quincy schools. They also want to re-energize the Reading Buddies program, which has lost some steam with the shelter being understaffed.
Nevertheless, people considering getting a cat or a dog should see what the shelter offers. The shelter is smaller than other shelters, Navarro said, so the staff knows the animals well and knows which animal fits well with which family.
“We are here, come in and visit us,” she said. “We always like having volunteers and visitors. Check out our Facebook, too.”

By Sebastian Moraga,