If Jerry Watkins’ work as director at the Pickens County Animal Shelter is anything like his first day, his house is going to get very crowded.
Watkins started his new position last week and his very first day on the job he took home a calico cat.
“I said, ‘Here honey I brought you a present’,” Watkins said when he brought the cat home to his wife. “We had one cat but she needed some company.”
The cat joins Watkins’ golden retrievers and French Bulldog at his home.
Watkins is a native Pickens Countian. From 1977-2004 he worked at the Piggly Wiggly then became the owner/operator of Mountainview Citgo on Cove Road from 2004-2011. When he was diagnosed with diabetes and almost lost his foot, he said he knew it was time to focus on something different.
“I was struck with diabetes and it was either give up the store or my feet so I gave up the store,” he said.
Once his health got back on track, Watkins returned to the business he knew well, working at Foothills IGA until recently. “I’ve been an animal lover my whole life so this job is perfect. I think the Lord sent this to me and I’m going to work at it like He did,” Watkins said.
Watkins said he will continue with the work put in place by former director Phillip Tippens, also a former grocer, who retired due to health problems earlier this month.
“Everything is nice here. I do want to bump up fund driving for the shelter. I’ve got some ideas for that. “
Watkins praised the shelter’s staff and volunteers.
“We’ve got a good volunteer base here. This place wouldn’t make it without them. They are a big part of this place. They come in and work for the self-satisfaction of it.”
The Pickens Animal Shelter is located at 3563 Camp Road, Jasper.