Humane society gets new director

Published 8:31 pm Friday, February 27, 2015

Eileen Gizara has loved animals all her life, and now she is moving from the world of veterinary medicine into a new role as executive director of the Suffolk Humane Society.



She has been working as a veterinary assistant for 11 years, most recently at Academy Animal Care for seven years and at Boulevard Veterinary Hospital in Newport News before that.

“I wanted to be more involved in the community and have a job that had a little bit bigger scope of duties,” she said recently about her new position, which she started Feb. 17.

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A Long Island native who moved to Newport News with her family when she was young, Gizara has lived in Suffolk since she started working at Academy Animal Care.

She doesn’t remember not loving and being around animals. Her mother bred Shelties when Gizara was young.

“We were at the veterinarian at least once a month,” Gizara said. The veterinarian sometimes let her help in the exam rooms, and she got interested in veterinary medicine that way.

Because of her work at Academy Animal Care, she has been attending the Suffolk Humane Society’s Mutt Strut fundraiser since it began.

“The Mutt Strut has been a big event in Suffolk the past few years, and I’m really excited about getting involved in planning it this year,” Gizara said.

Gizara said she hopes to maximize the humane society’s potential.

“There’s just so much potential for growth and so many things that they’re involved in the community,” Gizara said. “I’m just really excited to be able to bring all of these people together and have the ability to do more for animals than I’ve been doing.”

Gizara said she plans to boost the society’s volunteer recruitment, organize more community activities and have more education programs for local students.

“I’m thinking about maybe trying to get involved with the Pruden Center’s veterinary assistant program and seeing if I can recruit some volunteers from there,” she said.

Gizara can be reached at the humane society’s office, 538-3030. She and her husband currently have two cats, two dogs and a 55-gallon tropical fish tank, stocked with mostly guppies and platies.