If the thousands of dogs and cats Missy Funk has helped for the past seven years could send congratulations cards, her mailbox would be stuffed and running over.
Since the animals can’t speak, it’s easy to announce that Missy, manager of the Hobbs Animal Adoption Center, was recently named New Mexico Humane Animal Advocate of the Year.
“I am appreciative and humbled,” Funk recently said. “But it would not have possible without the team I have behind me.”
Funk’s award is no surprise to members of the Lea County Humane Society (LCHS) nor to the public that shares her concern for the animals of Lea County and west Texas.
Last week, LCHS President Bobby Shaw said Funk’s work and influence has changed the culture of the community as it relates to the care of stray or injured animals.
“She has worked hard to get to the place where we are now,” Bobby said. “We have a no-kill shelter that takes care of pets that come to it. She works to find a home for every pet that comes through the door and if that means transporting them to other places, she’s worked hard to get our transport program going and to keep it going. In every way, she’s just a spectacular person.”
Hobbs’ Crazy Dog Lady, Pat Huntley, described Funk as, “the driving force behind getting the shelter to be no-kill. I’ve known Missy for about seven years, since she took over as the manager of the adoption center, and she’s worked hard with rescue people and found ways to save animals that before she came would have been put down.”
Pat, also member of the LCHS board of directors, is a go-to rescuer who is interested in saving all pets. She earned the title “Crazy Dog Lady” because, “I’m a crazy dog lady,” she said. “And that’s why I truly appreciate all Missy has done and still does to find homes for animals that come to the Adoption Center.
Brandy Ellison, who volunteers with Amazing Grace Pet Rescue, also had high praise for Funk.
“I think what she does is amazing,” Brandy said. “She’s found homes for so many animals. And she has turned our local shelter into a no-kill shelter.”
Given those descriptions, it’s easy to see how Funk fits the official description of the Animal Advocate of the Year provided by Animal Humane New Mexico.
According to the AHNM website, “The Animal Advocate of the Year is an individual who works to promote respect and care for New Mexico’s animals, develops or promotes programs to bring significant change to animal care in their community and embodies the compassion of our industry.”
Funk, who oversees all the activities of the Adoption Center except for those of Animal Control, said, “I’ve had lots of support and help at the Adoption Center. Our employees are wonderful and our volunteers go way beyond what might be expected.”
She said she is still coordinating the LCHS transport program. That program uses a specially equipped van, purchased by LCHS from local dealer Tate Branch, to transport dogs and cats to other shelters.
“We go to Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri and other places depending on who has room in their shelter,” Funk said. “We go once or twice a week. We want every pet who is adoptable to find a home.”