We have two new additions to our Veteran Volunteer team, and a milestone anniversary to announce.

Patti Hard, a Family and Marriage Therapist from Harrodsburg, Kentucky who runs a private practice in Lexington, became a volunteer with the PRC in June 2013. To date, Patti has volunteered a total of 170 hours, and joins us most Friday mornings to help care for the primates.

Melody Vanover is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and works at Broadway Vet Clinic in Lexington. Melody joined the volunteer team in June 2013 and has volunteered a total of 139 hours.

We’re so glad that Patti and Melody are part of the team!

Patti Hard (left) and Melody Vanover (right)


This month marks the 5-year anniversary of Gina Lyons joining the PRC Volunteer program. From the start, Gina has been a hardworking, enthusiastic volunteer with an undeniable love and admiration for the chimps and monkeys who call this sanctuary home.

Gina grew up in Kentucky, and has always loved caring for animals. As a child her family raised dogs, cats and horses, and for years Gina volunteered with her local humane society and adopted several rescue dogs.

Gina started with the Primate Rescue Center in November 2009, and has accumulated nearly 2000 hours of time volunteered at the sanctuary. As a teacher at East Jessamine High School, Gina also worked with her school’s photography club to create an educational video about our sanctuary, which then won a national contest and earned the PRC a $1000 donation from the photo club’s winnings. Gina has been a great asset to our team during our Annual Member Events both as a volunteer team leader in the chimpanzee area, but also as an assistant during event volunteer orientation. She is considered a Level 3 volunteer, having completed training in all volunteer areas, and is now a mentor to other volunteers as they are learning the ropes.

The staff would like to thank Gina for all her years and hours of service to the primates, and we hope and look forward to many more years with her on the team!

Gina Lyons preparing food in the chimp house kitchen, “touching” hands with Victoria chimp through the glass of the chimp's Play Room, and sharing a snuggle with Sarah our Great Pyrenees dog.