Recognizing dedication to animal welfare

Published 4:38 pm Sunday, April 28, 2024

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Cory Rice, the dedicated animal caretaker at the Butler County Humane Society, has been named the Greenville Advocate’s Hero of the Week for her commitment to the welfare of animals in need.

Rice’s journey with the Butler County Humane Society began with a desire to lend a helping hand, but it quickly turned into a deep-seated commitment to the welfare of animals in need. A Greenville native, Rice left her hometown at 18 to explore the United States. However, it was during the pandemic that she found her way back to Butler County, initially volunteering for family friend Kandys Killough at the Humane Society.

“I fell in love with it and wanted to help,” Rice said, reflecting on her decision to return. As pandemic restrictions eased, Rice briefly relocated to Virginia but found her heart remained with the Humane Society and its mission.

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“Ms. Kandys was doing it by herself,” Rice explained. “She was getting older and had no family or children to help her, so I came back.” 

Rice returned to Greenville and began working full-time at the Humane Society, even moving into a home on the property to provide 24/7 on-call care.

The Butler County Humane Society, under Rice’s care, provides a sanctuary for animals, including 20 adult dogs, 18 puppies, around 80 cats and 20 kittens. 

Rice’s sister Courtney Rice says that her sister is the definition of a quiet hero. 

“Cory, is one of the only members who is doing all of the hands-on work with the actual animals under the humane society’s care, along with the physical labor at the sanctuary to keep it running, every single day of the week,” Courtney said. “No one understands the work, dedication, and heartbreak Cory deals with everyday to try and care for all of the neglected animals of Butler County.”

The Humane Society operates solely on donations, with no state funding.

“Ms. Kandys pays for a lot of things herself, and we do get some donations,” Rice noted. “I don’t really take a paycheck, but I just can’t leave.”

Rice credits her wife, Andrea Rice, for her unwavering support.

“I couldn’t do this if my wife Andrea wasn’t so patient and understanding,” Rice acknowledged. “She works full-time so I can be out here and she helps with the animals when she gets home too.”

As Rice looks to the future, she hopes for more support to continue the Humane Society’s vital work. 

“If we can get funding or grants, we can get that help right now,” Rice emphasized. “I’m just rolling with it, but we really need help.”

Kandys Killough expressed her gratitude for Rice’s dedication.

“Cory is a blessing to me and the dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens she helps care for. It would be difficult for me at 71 to do it without her,” Killough said. “I consider her my adopted granddaughter; her parents, sister, and wife are wonderful in helping too.”

The Butler County Humane Society, with Cory Rice at its helm, stands as a beacon of hope for animals in need, showcasing the power of compassion and dedication in creating a better world for all creatures. For more information on volunteer, donation or pet adoption opportunities contact Rice by calling the Butler Humane Society at (334) 368-8246.