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New manager named at Forsyths animal shelter
Jeanie Curphey Animal Shelter Manager

NORTH FORSYTH — Forsyth County has hired a new manager for its animal shelter, filling a post that had been open for three months.

And officials didn’t have to look too far to find Jeanie Curphey, who had served as shelter’s coordinator since July. Curphey will fill the vacancy created by the departure of former manager Chris Peninger.

Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt declined to comment on Peninger’s situation, only to say that she resigned unexpectedly in November.

“I’m very excited about it because this is a really great shelter,” Curphey said. “The county made a really nice shelter and we want to make it into one of those that the state and even the department of agriculture says, ‘Go check this shelter out, it’s really nice.’”

Curphey previously worked as a field inspector for the state Department of Agriculture’s animal industry division and has also held teaching, training and management positions.

Her new duties will include upkeep of the 13,700-square-foot facility, which opened in August on County Way in north Forsyth, as well as oversight of animal care community outreach and the adoption process.

Curphey said that as manager she hopes to get residents involved in volunteering efforts, which may not have been available at the previous shelter of 35 years ran by local veterinarian and shelter advisory committee member Lanier Orr.

Among other possibilities, volunteers could spread word of the shelter’s spay and neuter policy and help with stray cats.

“We just started a program for the dogs and it’s called Open Paw,” Curphey said. “It is a training program that was developed by dog trainers specifically for shelter animals, because shelter animals are really stressed when they’re in.”