Person of the Week: Volunteer aims to help homeless animals in Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Every year thousands of homeless animals in Detroit are rescued by the Michigan Humane Society.

Many of those little buddies wouldn’t get the extra exposure that often leads to adoption without this week’s Detroit 2020 Person of the Week.

Judy Murray used to take pictures of railroad crashes or car accidents for insurance claims. But now in her retirement, her photography aims to help four-legged friends in need.

“We get some wounded warriors in here,” said Murray as she walked past cages of rescued animals at MHS in Detroit.

Murray volunteers each week at the Michigan Humane Society’s Dresner Foundation Adoption Center in Detroit to get these rescues ready for their close-up.

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” said Murray with camera in hand.

Judy takes photographs of the animals and posts them on the MHS website. Capturing the best dog-gone picture is a lot harder than it looks!

Miles – a Jack Russell Terrier rescue -- was a moving target for his photo shoot. But Judy managed to get some great shots!

Then there was the cautious calico cat Summer.

“You want to go get your picture taken little girl?” asked Judy giving the timid cat a kiss on the nose.

MHS staffers are always glad to see Judy walk in the door.

“Judy is the epitome of love,” said Anna Chrisman -- the communications manager at MHS.

“A lot of times what Judy will bring is our overlooked pets. Pets that have maybe been sitting in the shelter for a while that just aren’t getting that same level of attention,” she added.

Judy picks out the animal that Chrisman features on WXYZ each Friday at noon for Channel 7's Pet of the Week segment transporting them to and from the station.

That’s on top of her pet-profile-picture-taking adventures.

But Judy is undeterred.

“She’s part of the family,” said Matthew Pepper, MHS President and CEO.
“She does this because she legitimately feels strongly about what we do. She not only lives it, but she takes it home. She recently adopted a new dog,” he explained.

“There, that’s my little stinker,” she said pointing to a picture of Archer on her phone.

Judy adopted Archer after her sweet Alex passed away 7 weeks ago.

If she hadn’t brought Alex in for MHS training 13 years ago, she never would have known what the organization was all about.

“It ended up that he got the training. And I got involved with MHS. And I’ve never looked back. And it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Judy.

Helping these furbabies connect with their forever families is why Judy Murray is this week’s Detroit 2020 Person of the Week.

Judy is part of 40,000 hours of volunteer time every year.
Last year, MHS placed more than 11,000 animals in loving homes.

If you’d like to volunteer, click here.
You can also support the Michigan Humane Society by walking in the Mega March for Animals this fall.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 24-th on Belle Isle and Sunday, October 1-st at Kensington Metropark.

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