boardSeen here in front of one of the two structures on five acres in Bronson are (from left) Humane Society of Levy County Treasurer and founder Mike Schenk, Vice President Heidi Hansen, Nicole Hemenway, Tori Hagan, President Michelle Hagan (holding Daisy Mae) and Secretary Debbie Landsiedel. Photo by Jeff M. Hardison

By Jeff M. Hardison, April 12, 2012

BRONSON - As Michelle Hagan, president and one of the founding members of the Humane Society of Levy County, read the letter to the officers and board members on Thursday evening (April 12), she choked up a little bit.
It was on the eve of the seventh anniversary of founding the organization, and she was announcing the great success the group had in purchasing property from the Griffin Estate. It was the first declaration to the world of this big step for the group.
Joining President Hagan for the momentous occasion were Vice President Heidi Hansen, Treasurer (and founder) Mike Schenk, Secretary Debbie Landsiedel and board member Nicole Hemenway. Trew Langley, another board member who was very involved with this being a successful venture, was not able to be present on Thursday evening.
Hagan's daughter Tori was also present, as was the dog Daisy Mae, who is a 16-week-old Weimaraner and red-nose pit bull mix, that will be adopted from the Humane Society. The puppy and the little girl added to the spirit of happiness and joy at reaching this goal.
The local Humane Society is purchasing five acres and two old houses for $30,000. The property is at 360 Main Ave., just north of Picnic Street and next door to Chantilly Place, and behind the new gun shop on U.S. Alt. 27 (Hathaway Avenue).
Gloria G. Dillard of Panama City Beach discussed with family members the Humane Society´┐Żs counter-offer to a previous offer. The first offer was for $30,000 down and $18,000 more paid over three years.
The Humane Society of Levy County could only come up with the $30,000 and had no promise of the remaining $18,000. Hagan explained the situation to Dillard, who approached the rest of the family. They agreed to donate that $18,000 difference to the Humane Society.
Closing costs, recording fees and property taxes are to be paid by the Humane Society of Levy County.
"Your intentions for the use of lumber from the old houses and, for the preservation of the wooded land as a park named in honor of Theron and Reba Griffin, were the deciding factors in our decision," Dillard noted.
Wood from the two very old buildings will be stored and reclaimed as the Humane Society works toward making its new home there. Bricks from the two big chimneys on the houses will also be used, Hagan said.
A certain amount of wood from the two houses is to be provided to the family that is donating the $18,000 part of the deal, for family members to use as picture frames.
Schenk said there has been some difficulty in raising funds for property that did not exist. Now the group has a solid foundation. Hagan said the group is still seeking more members. The current fee to join for one year is $5, she said. There are more opportunities for bigger donations, but this is a fee many people can afford.
The Humane Society of Levy County can be reached by calling 352-486-5705. Its website is The email is

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