Faithful Friends hires operations manager

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 10, 2012

Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary has hired its first operations manager, the organization said in a press release. And its 5,400-square-foot facility on Grace Church Road should be open soon.
Shelley Swaim, who lives in Advance, will start her new job in March. She has more than 25 years of experience in animal welfare, including working for the state, volunteering for humane societies and no-kill shelters and helping in disaster relief operations.
As an animal health technician with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, her duties included monitoring animal shelters, boarding kennels and pet shops to ensure they met state standards.
Swaim also performed investigations and served notices to those in violation of administrative codes covering animal disease control, dealer practices and animal welfare issues ensuring humane care by regulating transportation, sale, purchase, housing, care handling and treatment of dogs and cats by individuals or organizations.
A graduate of Murray State College with a degree in animal health technology, Swaim is a certified abuse investigator. She was a lead investigator or a co-investigator involved in uncovering illegal conditions of boarding facilities in Rockingham, Lincoln and Davie counties. She has served as an expert witness in animal cruelty cases resulting in guilty verdicts.
Swaim has also completed animal disaster training with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is a member of the N.C. Veterinary Response Corps. She has had extensive training in man-made and natural disaster relief as well as advanced regional shelter training, and has experience volunteering with several non-governmental animal welfare organizations.
Swaim has volunteered in disaster deployments with the American Humane Association and Humane Society of the United States. She was key in the set up of the first co-location center for disaster relief during Hurricane Gustav.
Swaim’s passion for animals extends to her home. A licensed equine appraiser, Swaim is the owner and operator of Riverview Farms, specializing in American Paint horses. Swaim owns three dogs rescued from shelters and puppy mills, four mules, two horses, 11 chickens and one cat. She also fosters dogs and cats.
Swaim’s son, Lance Cpl. John Benton Stewart, is serving in Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion 9th Marines. Swaim also has “adopted” several Marines who come to her home on weekends and holidays because they live far from their own homes.
Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary is an animal rescue group formed for the purpose of starting a no-kill animal sanctuary in Rowan County. An official opening date for the sanctuary has not been announced.