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Angel shows his dedication to rescued animals by the numbers

Angel shows his dedication to rescued animals by the numbers

His love of animals brought Gregory Wilkins to his position as kennel supervisor at the Escambia County Animal Shelter. For everyone who comes here and anyone who will listen, he wants you to know the numbers.

"That's the harsh reality of what we're dealing with. We're having to only having so much space and wanting to help the community and be a viable option for the community; but also having the community understand, we do have an overpopulation issue," he explained.

There are only so many spaces and when they've run out of room, as they do way too often, tough choices have to be made if people don't adopt the dogs and cats. He tries to send them to rescue organizations or find foster homes until there's room at the inn.

When all else fails there is the absolute last option, to put down an animal. As he strolls the kennels there is that heartbreaking reality, but there is also hope.

"It's a double edged sword. For some animals it's difficult because it's a hard time adjusting to the kennel life. But, also, you realize you are helping animals in tough situations. You're getting them out of those tough situations and giving them a chance at a new life," he said.

Greg is quick to tell you, he's got a small army of supporters who love the animals as much as he does. They're volunteers and groups like Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter.

They say their labor of love is easier because of Greg. Laura Booth is founder and president of Friends of the Escambia County Animal Shelter.

"There are so many emotions when you deal with the animals here and so many ideas. Having somebody with a good perspective and being open-minded about these things, just makes all the difference in the world," she said.

The work that Greg does also pulls at the heart of vice president Kim Rainer.

"What we do is an emotional thing," Kim said. "We all love these animals so much and he knows that. He just wants to make sure that we're continuing to want to do this that; to really stick with it and want to help the animals."

To save and give second chances to more animals, Greg does whatever it takes to grow this community support. Whether it's spaying and neutering your own pets, donating funds or supplies on the shelter's wish list, taking the dogs for walks on the grounds, adopting a pet; every bit of help is welcomed.

Kim said his open door and open heart lets you know that.

"You know, there's not a day that goes by that we're not in contact with Greg; talking to him about something or planning something and he is always, and I mean always, willing to help," she said.

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