Fantastic progress has been made in the humane movement in Utah, but much remains to be accomplished, one of the founders of the Utah Branch of the Humane Society of the United States said Saturday.
Hal Gardiner, former president of the society, now known as Humane Society of Utah, was the speaker at the organization's awards banquet Saturday evening.The dinner, held to celebrate 100 years of the humane movement in Utah and founding of the branch in 1961, featured the presentation of awards for Volunteer of the Year, Employee of the Year and plaques to 23 individuals and organizations for "generous financial support."
Twenty-three certificates of appreciation were presented for "outstanding service to the ideals of compassion, caring and commitment to making our world a kinder one for all animals."
Debra Smith, who has given many hours of service to the society, was honored as Volunteer of the Year. And Candice Zumwalt, a receptionist who has been employed three years at the society, was named Employee of the Year.
Also featured was an historical slide show, with more than 100 pictures of people, events and facilities involved in the humane movement. The slides reviewed activities such as formation in 1888 of the Articles of Association of the Utah Humane Society, establishment of an animal shelter in 1939, prosecution of numerous animal cruelty cases, and the dramatic rescue earlier this year of two dogs stranded on a remote canyon mesa near Moab.
Tom Barberi, KALL Radio personality, was emcee at the banquet. Craig Cook, society president, announced names of award recipients. Awards were presented by Gene Baierschmidt, executive director.
Gardiner, who has been a member of the national humane organization board since 1971 and who is chairman of the board of Gardiner - A Marketing Company, Salt Lake City, gave highlights of the Utah society and its service to animals.
The Humane Society of Utah had its beginnings when three organizations, Animal Rescue League, Salt Lake Humane Society and the Utah Humane Society, turned their resources over to the new Utah Branch of the Humane Society.
Elected to the first board were Mary Wormuth, president; Gardiner, vice president; Helen P. Gibson; Robert Chenoweth and W. Ferrell Thomas. On Dec. 16, 1961, a shelter was opened at 4613 S. 40th West. The facility was financed by assets of the three organizations and a $35,000 loan from the Humane Society of the U.S.
Gardner said it was difficult in the early days to get people to serve on the board. But people have stepped forward, he said, "deserving the greatest possible credit for being volunteers." Working in the humane movement is often a wrenching experience, Gardiner said.
"Animal cruelty is a sort of vandalism. People take their emotions and negative feelings out on animals. I have to salute volunteers who will put in long hours and who will fight the battles of an activity that a lot of people don't really care about. A lot of people will stand up for humans, but not too many people will stand up for animals, just a small, dedicated group who feel deeply" about such mistreatment, Gardiner said.
For financial support, President's Club plaques were presented to: Dan H. Burton, the Deseret News, Theo K. and Beth Dunham, Carolyn Fugal, Leah B. Felt, Colin and Lynn Kammerer, Dr. K. Gary Shields and Lynda Shields, Janelle Rouze, Susan and Dr. Jeffrey Saffle, Dr. Charles Maxfield Parrish, Nadine and Burt Shaw, Jack Gordon, Christon Hanson, Leslie M. Eskuche, Naoma and William Stewart Gardiner, Mrs. L.S. Skaggs and Dr. Robert Youngblood.
Certificate recipients: Jim Swaydan, Eve Mary Verde and Mountain Bell, Joan Casey and Sandy Animal Control, Deanna Hess and Davis County Animal Control, Kris Pellom, Trudy Carter, Lynn Bradak, Artistic Grommery, Shirley Bryant, Sandi Behnken and American Nutrition Co., Burt Metcalf and Thunderbird Helicopters, Kirk DeFond, George Gerhardt, Karen Carnes and KTVX-TV, Tom Barberi and KALL Radio, Michelle Michaels and KSOP Radio, Lois Strachan, Heidi Bloyer, Kurt Ovard and Charlene Meyer, Charlene Meyer, Tom Robbin and Les James, all of of KDAB Radio.