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Downers Grove

Pet Project

Doug Grier brings attention to humane society’s mission

DOWNERS GROVE – After years of working in higher education and at marketing agencies and nonprofits, Doug Grier was in need of a change. He was at a crossroads with his career. If anything, he sought to slow down and bring his own marketing business into focus.

“I just basically decided to bow out of full-time work and do something different,” he said of his bold move.

While he toyed with the idea of retiring early, he explored his options. A quick walk-through of Grier’s career reveals a collection of varying skills that he earned from previous positions, and he wondered if there was a job out there that pulled all of his experiences together.

As the new humane education manager at West Suburban Humane Society, Grier now looks forward to helping the Downers Grove community understand the longtime animal shelter’s role. He wants to draw more attention to animal adoption and shine a spotlight on the people who work behind the scenes.

“I have such respect for the work that we do at the shelter to help animals, and the people are great,” he said. “There’s so many dedicated volunteers. I mean, there’s over 400 volunteers who help the shelter run and function day-to-day.”

In the past, Grier served as the Dean of Community Education at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove and Manager of Continuing Education and Cultural Enrichment at Harper College in Palatine. He holds master’s degrees in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University and in integrated marketing communication from Roosevelt University.

When Grier worked with student volunteers, he was invested in their personal and professional growth. At WSHS, he hopes to get the community, especially its youth, more involved with the “organization that does so much good.”

One program that comes to Grier’s mind is Animal Friends, an after-school session for children between the ages of 9 and 11 that will take place in April. The program offers five sessions and gives students the chance to learn more about the humane society and its cats and dogs. Those interested in registering can visit WSHS’s website at

The West Suburban Humane Society was established in 1972. Today, its facility on Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove has the ability to house up to 25 dogs and 60 cats at a time, according to the organization’s website. The humane society provides care for dogs and cats that have experienced abandonment, abuse, injuries or neglect.

At this point, Grier has a game plan when it comes to the list of messages that he wants to share with the people of Downers Grove, but it all boils down to one thing.

“I just want to continue to educate people about the need to just treat animals with respect,” he said.

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