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Animal control facility resumes services Monday

Harrison County Facilities Maintenance Supervisor David Simon served in the military for 20 years, so he’s no stranger to stressful situations.
But even he admits adjusting to life without Harrison County Animal Control officer Mike Gentry, who was involved in a serious accident April 22, has been ‘ at times ‘ overwhelming.
Simon has taken over running the day-to-day operations of the animal control facility while the new full-time employee, Rylanda Mixon of Corydon, gets up to speed.
‘I love challenges,’ Simon said. ‘The most difficult thing has been balancing my regular job and this one. My goal is to train up the full-time employee so that I can fade away.’
Prior to Gentry’s accident, Simon had no everyday function with the facility, which currently houses 70 cats and dogs. Now he’s putting in 25 hours a week in addition to his regular position with the county.
‘It’s amazing how quick things can change up there. We had eight adoptions lined up for Friday and two sick animals, and by the end of the day, 11 were adopted, and we had to put down four due to illness,’ Simon said. ‘In the blink of an eye, things change.’
Simon says the three areas he’s focusing on are maintaining the building, providing for the animals and serving the public.
‘We’re just trying to come up with a plan that works for everyone at the facility,’ he said.
Mixon said she’s still learning and is doing the best she can with everything that’s going on.
‘It’s going to be more difficult next week once we open up,’ she said. ‘We just all have to work together and do the best we can.’
The center will open to the public ‘ beginning Monday ‘ from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Appointments for dropoffs MUST be made by calling 738-8163, however anyone can adopt during regular hours.
‘We have to assign an identification for each animal, and there’s a lot of paperwork involved, so it will be much easier on everyone if we have the appointments,’ Mixon said.
Volunteer hours are available from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Anyone wanting to volunteer at the animal shelter should call 738-8163.
Gentry’s condition improving
Gentry was moved from University of Louisville Hospital to Southern Indiana Rehabilitation in New Albany over the weekend.
‘I was relieved when I saw him,’ Mixon said. ‘He was joking around a little bit, knew who everyone was. It’s breaking his heart about not being able to be at the shelter. His wife said that’s all he’s been talking about is the shelter.
‘Those animals mean the world to him. I’ve known him for three or four months now, and he’s become like a father to me,’ said Mixon. ‘He’s hanging in there, so I feel like I have to hang in there to help keep this place going for him.’
Gentry, 44, was injured April 22 in a head-on crash on Union Chapel Road. Gentry’s wife, Lisa, 43, was also transported by ambulance. The other driver, Alexandra Zingg, 16, of Corydon suffered some minor injuries.