Under her guidance, the APL has initiated several programs, including foster pets, pet adoption at the Correctional Industrial facility at the state penitentiary in Pendleton, the establishment of outside adoption sites and fund-raising events.
Crystal Armstrong is one of two readers who nominated Stringer for The Herald Bulletin's Person of the Year honor.
“Beyond the love she shows to the animals, she also educates people about animals and how to care for them, and the importance of human relations to and with animals,” Armstrong wrote in her nomination email. “Without this key element, many people are unaware of the issues that the community faces.”
Greg Graham, who was deputy mayor when Stringer was hired to run the Anderson shelter, noted that she is hesitant to take credit for improvements at the local animal shelter.
“With Maleah, it’s all about the issues; it’s all about the animals,” he said. “As long as she’s succeeding to bring compassionate care to the animals, that’s all she cares about.”
Stringer, who writes a weekly column about animal care for The Herald Bulletin, gives credit to volunteers and the people of Madison County. She was especially touched by the community's commitment after authorities found 165 emaciated animals clinging to life on a farm in Summitville last spring. The case drew national attention.
“I don’t know that anybody who was there is going to forget those images,” Stringer said. “On the flip side, what was really outstanding to me is that within six hours we had 165 animals placed.”
Stringer said it was overwhelming to see the animals surviving in feces-filled structures among the rotting carcasses of 171 other animals who had perished.
“I’ve said it before, but it was easier for me to look at the dead bodies than it was for me to look at the live ones,” Stringer said.