Local News

Face Added to Shelter Name

(La Porte, IN) - Unwanted pets went from being mostly euthanized to finding new homes on her long running watch.


Her legacy is reflected on the new name of the facility.


The former La Porte County Small Animal Shelter is now the Jane Bernard Animal Adoption Center.


Bernard retired in February after more than 30-years as director of the shelter beside the La Porte County Fairgrounds on Indiana 2.            

“Never in a million years did I ever think that was going to happen,” she said.


Bernard, 60, gave much of the credit for the honor to staff members and support from elected officials and the public during her tenure.


“That’s why we succeeded and were able to improve the shelter in so many ways,” she said.


After coming here from Wisconsin, Bernard was a receptionist for a local veterinarian when tapped to get the La Porte County government owned shelter plagued by poor record keeping, cock roach infestation and lack of maintenance heading in the right direction.


A high rate of animals euthanized under a five day adoption deadline also began to change.

Now, dogs and cats stay until they’re adopted and euthanized only if they’re suffering or aggressive toward humans.


A major help in the transformation of the facility was the addition of the Stevens Treatment Center in 2014.


The center staffed by local veterinarians makes sure animals are healthy, spayed or neutered and micro-chipped prior to adoption.

The medical facility was made possible by $1 million willed to the shelter by local animal lovers the late Delbert and Virginia Stevens.


“That totally changed the make-up of how we were able to take care of the shelter animals,” Bernard said.


Mike Kellems was a La Porte County Police Officer noticing the impact Bernard had on the shelter especially on calls related to animal abuse.


He said Bernard or another representative from the shelter were always quick to respond no matter what the time to arrange medical care for animals or assist with investigations.

“That shelter has set the standard for what community animal shelters should be like,” Kellems said.


“You talk about dedicated employees.  They’re just great people,” said La Porte County Commissioner Rich Mrozinski.


Bernard recently came back to the shelter as a volunteer doing things like cleaning and feeding the animals about once a week.


She said seeing her name on the facility is also surprising because such honors are often extended to people after they passed away.


“To be alive and see this take place, I’m truly honored,” Bernard said.

Weather Center

High School Scoreboard

Sports Scores