Giving Your Best: Barbara Zust - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Barbara Zust

By Jennie Montgomery

Friends at the McCormick County Humane Society say Barbara Zust is a retiree who is driven to make a difference.

She cares for pets, works pet adoptions on Saturdays, and initiated a program called "Learning About Pets" at McCormick Elementary School.

Barbara's efforts help more than amimals, though. She's a volunteer at the children's home, her church and with the Road Warriors beautification project.

When Barbara Zust moved to McCormick County, SC, she realized there was a need when it came to stray animals.

"I came down here and started working with the people who were the only Humane Society at the time, and this one gal had like 45 or 50 dogs that she'd picked up, and little by little, as more people moved in and wanted to help, that's how we got started."

Like so many rural counties, McCormick doesn't have an animal control agency.

Tim Sommers is the presidents of the Humane Society.

"Our Humane Society, which is a completely volunteer organization, is essentially the go-to place for animals that are stray and roaming the streets, and we get the calls - we can't take them all but we do our best."

And one way to help is to educate the community, starting with children. An elementary school teacher had the idea that she pitched to Barbara.

"She had picked up a little dog and wanted to know what to do with it, and she said, 'Could you bring some people in to educate the children?' So we started a program to educate them to get their pets spayed and neutered, because we were picking up litters and litters and litters."

Tim Sommers says her energy is amazing.

"We call her the energizer bunny because she never stops running! She's involoved in so many things, just what she does with our organization is incredible."

He says even hip replacement surgery didn't slow down Barbara.

"Folks are supposed to call the president, which is me, but most of the time they call her at home just because they know her and they know her involvement. So she calls me, 'Tim we've got a dog at such and such street, can we go get him?"

Barbara and Tim are optimistic that the county will get an animal control, but the money's not there now.

"We're hoping it will get put in place soon, because it's needed."

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