A few weeks ago, Deb Hagopian, Warden at Washington County Animal Control, received five very special books. They are scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings, dating back to June of 1996, of every Pet of the Week ever featured in the Nashville News. Pet of the Week is a weekly submission received from Washington County Partners for Pets that showcases one of the animals up for adoption at Animal Control. The submissions are made in hopes that word will get out, and the featured furry friend will find a forever home.
Five books filled with clippings of Animal Control news, every week, from the past 25 years.
“They are like a time capsule! It is truly amazing.” Hagopian said.
The collection of scrapbooks begins, appropriately, at the beginning. The first article is a letter to the editor written by Martha Frederking (then, Marha Schmale) that reads, “I would like everyone to know there is a new group forming. It is so new we haven’t even come up with a name yet. All you have to do to join is have a deep concern for animals.”
Eventually, that group called themselves Washington County Partners for Pets, and they have been helping Washington County Animal Control, and the animals there, ever since. The proof is in the pages upon pages of pictures of dogs and cats that have been submitted over the last 25 years, all in the name of helping these animals.
Hagopian said she had no idea the books existed until they were brought to Animal Control a few weeks ago. She said when she first received them, she sat down that evening to go through just a few of the pages. Before she knew it, hours had passed. Even several days later, she and staff were pointing out the animals they remembered and the memories that came with them. Hagopian hopes to display the books in the center so others can come and look back at the time capsule, too.
The scrapbooks were originally started by Martha Frederking. Marcy Thomas took over after her, and has been putting the newspaper clippings into the books up until now. She has decided to ‘retire’ her duties, and brought the books to Animal Control so that others could enjoy the collection.
“The time, the energy these ladies went to to keep a record. . .” Hagopian said, “It’s a chunk of history.”
Hagopian says Animal Control will be adding to the impressive collection. The books will be on display at the Washington County Animal Control as soon as staff has time to secure any loose clippings and find a suitable display case for them.