Braston Gray is the new director of the animal center

Given the nature of his job, it’s no surprise that Braston Gray loves animals.

Spend a few minutes with the familiar Gray — who just completed his first week as the new director of the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center — it’s quickly apparent that Gray, a 2010 graduate of Bangs High School, also gets along well with pets. people.

In the animal center’s busy lobby on Friday afternoon, Gray, 29, chatted with staff and engaged visitors in easy conversation. Noting the windy conditions outside, Gray told a visitor that he had just moved from Lubbock, and the visitor replied that she had recently moved from Amarillo.

Gray previously worked for city-run Lubbock Animal Services and decided to return home. Gray’s parents are retired State Trooper Martin Molotsky and Deedra Molotsky, who oversees the City of Brownwood Emergency Dispatch Center.

Growing up in Bangs, Gray said, he had always loved animals. “My parents always called me Ace Ventura, as someone who would go get all the local wildlife or bring home stray cats and try to give everything a home,” Gray said. “It didn’t always go over so well with my parents, but I always tried, so I was always kind of an animal whisperer for a long time.”

Gray said he was “always the one who wanted to bring home something weird,” which didn’t necessarily meet with his parents’ approval.

In 2013 Gray decided to move to Lubbock, where he worked for a furniture moving company. In 2016, he took a job with Lubbock Animal Service, where he “did everything from shelter duties to field duties, occasionally training new employees, all sorts of things like that,” Gray said. “We made a lot of changes around 2018. The shelter went from being a high-mortality almost-no-kill shelter virtually overnight.”

But Gray decided he had had enough of big city life.

“I had the opportunity to return to Brownwood a little less than a month ago and this position became available,” Gray said. “I applied for this, prayed long and hard about it and now I can sit here.”

Gray added that he “comes back no matter what, and I saw this position open up. I said I’d be mad if I didn’t at least apply and I’m very lucky to be sitting here .”

When Gray learned he was being offered the director job, he had “a lot of emotions,” Gray said. “I felt very lucky and blessed. However, I understood that tackling overcrowding issues and making sure animals were adopted into the facility was serious.”

Reflecting further on his love of animals, Gray said: “I think my parents were always big animal lovers too, and I guess that rubbed off on me. A lot of it came from my parents and a lot of it. came naturally too. I love everything. If it’s eight legs, no legs, four legs, three legs, covered in scales, fir, fins or whatever, I love everything that.”

When asked about his hobbies, Gray quickly replied, “I enjoy a good cup of coffee. I love nature. I love herpes. It’s my favorite hobby. . Herpes – the act of looking for reptiles and amphibians. pictures of them and letting them go. I just like to do it as a hobby when the months are a bit warmer, when there is a lot more activity. You also catch me in the summer fishing, and hiking anywhere weather permitting.

Gray began working as the new director of the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center on December 11, a Saturday. “We have a wonderful staff who are dedicated to the cleaning, care and welfare of all animals,” Gray said. “I’m very impressed that everyone is on board with some immediate changes that have been implemented and I look forward to making continued improvements in the future.”

Gray said he wanted the community to know “we’re ready to make positive changes and we’re really pushing for animal adoption, and I think everyone would be happy with how the shelter is progressing. We’re Glad everyone is coming out and visiting us.”

Benjamin M. Yerger