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Longtime pet shelter official plans to retire


After nearly 30 years of pioneering community outreach programs for Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, Peggy Bender announced her retirement Tuesday.

Bender will officially leave her post as community relations and education specialist Sept. 1, according to a statement from Animal Care & Control.

Among Bender’s accomplishments during her 29 years with Animal Care & Control were fundraising events, a spay-neuter assistance program, an animal program geared toward teenagers, work with local schools and a nationally recognized animal safety education program.

“Our department and the community have been fortunate to have had Peggy serving for 29 years,” Belinda Lewis, director of Animal Care & Control, said in a prepared statement.

Bender will go on to work as creative director in nonprofit video marketing.

Bender was well-known to TV viewers from her pet-of-the-week segment on a local station.

“Working for Animal Care & Control and for the welfare of animals will always be greater than a career,” Bender said in a news statement about her retirement.

Jodi Hamilton, volunteer coordinator for the past six years at Animal Care & Control, will fill the vacancy left by Bender.