People of Etowah – Christi Brown


Name: Christi Brown

Where were you born and raised?

“Born in Joplin, Missouri and moved to Gadsden at age 3. Gadsden has been home since then.”

What is your occupation?

“Executive Director, Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center.”

What made you decide to work in your field?

“After Hurricane Katrina devastated our southern neighbors, I took a leave from CitiBank to volunteer with Humane Society of United States. I ran an ad to invite anyone that could help to meet me at the then Humane Society on Chestnut Street. A stranger named Lisa Brackett loaded her camp gear, and we rode together down to Hattiesburg, Miss., to process truck loads of incoming animals being rescued from the disaster area. It changed my life. I became a constant volunteer, along with my husband upon returning and have been involved with the HSPRAC since.”

Tell us about your family and pets.

My husband and I own Proscape of Alabama, Inc. He specializes in landscape, hardscape, irrigation and all things stone and rock. We are blessed to have an amazing crew! He volunteers for the Humane Society, as did I until it became a career in August of 2012. We live in Gadsden with our ridiculous old grey beard, Mr. Bones, and our larger than life and most ungraceful lab/dane mix, Blue. Cabbie, the feral from 14 years ago and Huck Finn, another shelter special allow us to call the place home with them.”

Describe an average day in your life.

“COFFEE UP FIRST! Then hose down with Off spray, slip out to do garden work and watch the birds. More coffee, then to the Humane Society for whatever the day may bring. Some days are heartbreaking, some are frustrating, some are heartwarming, but all are blessed and the most amazing day you have ever seen. The tribe I get to lead makes the sun come up each day and are a humbling reminder there are still good people in the world.”

What school or schools have you attended?

“Head Start, Striplin, Thompson, Disque, Gadsden High and Gadsden State.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Garden, kayak, camp, hike, eat, swim, laugh, and get as close to nature as I can. It heals my soul and lets my mind wander far away.”

What is your favorite thing about this community?

“I love that we have mountains and lakes, neat downtowns and parks all around. I love to see so many people with passion for what they do and that I get to walk alongside them.”

What would you like to see change in the community?

“The lack of compassion for those that cannot help themselves is an embarrassment. Gandhi told us that we are measured by how we treat our weakest members. That said, it is time to try harder, show more compassion, work with our leaders to find resolutions for our failures and to leave this community better than we found it. The time is now.”

What are three words that describe you?

“Straightforward, reasonable, hopeful.”

What is something surprising that many do not know about you?

“I will pick up plants that others have thrown away, clean out a clearance garden center to save plants that were given up on.”

What is your favorite quote?

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Mahatma Gandhi.

What is on your bucket list?

“I want to buy a cabin and call the mountains my home. Internet and cell service not required and quite frankly, are frowned upon.”

What is your hidden talent?

“My hidden talent would be the ease at which I am able to climb onto the high road and that my tongue is still attached. I believe in being kind and objective before forming decisions. I am an old soul, and I am okay with that. And finding four leaf clovers.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?

“Ava Gardner for her humor, language, and her hatred of wearing shoes. I would have stayed married to Old Blue Eyes, though.”

What advice would you give yourself as a child?

“Stand taller for those that cannot defend themselves, get involved with the cause that makes your heart sing as soon as possible, and spend more time with your Grandpa Mitchell absorbing those WWII stories.”

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