Charles DeVane Honored For Life-Time Service to Animal Rescue
Prof. Burton Fletcher, J.D., MBA (Ret.)
President & Founder, Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Inc.
Burton Fletcher, President, Founder, and Executive Director of the Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Inc., announced the first annual Charles DeVane Award of Distinction presented to Mr. Charles DeVane, 79, of Quitman, Georgia. This award has been created to honor Mr. DeVane’s lifetime achievements and commitment to animal rescue in South Georgia.
In addition to receiving the first annual Charles DeVane Award of Distinction from the Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Chairman Bill Slaughter, on behalf of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, signed a Proclamation proclaiming “Charles DeVane Day” with gracious words honoring Mr. DeVane’s many years of service to animal rescue.
“I first got involved with helping animals in 2005 when my son’s friend asked me to join the Valdosta/Lowndes County Humane Society. I eventually served as president,” DeVane said. “From that experience, I learned about the many needs of homeless animals in our area and wanted to help.”
Mr. DeVane, described by Burton Fletcher as the “Dean of Animal Rescue in South Georgia because of his ongoing legacy in animal rescue,” funded and constructed the Quitman Animal Shelter in 2015. He provides everything needed at the shelter, including a recently purchased bus for transport. DeVane worked as its only unpaid employee until he hired and funded staff in December 2022.
Over many years promoting animal welfare in Georgia, DeVane has forged a network of excellent relationships with like-minded politicians who support his efforts. He has served on the Humane Society of Georgia in Atlanta, the Georgia Pet Coalition, and the Brooks Area Rescue Club (BARC). He is passionate about advocating for “passing good animal welfare bills and killing bad ones,” he said. For many years, he has traveled several times annually to Georgia’s capitol whenever the legislators are in session.
With twelve rescue dogs he dearly loves, DeVane no longer actively brings home rescue animals because he cannot help but fall in love with every single one. He is committed to continuing his other animal welfare and rescue efforts for as long as possible.
DeVane resides on the family farmland owned initially since 1845 by his great-great-grandfather. His father was a native of Quitman and wanted the family to grow up in his Georgia hometown. Mr. DeVane was born in Guatemala and moved back to Quitman at age four, seventy-five years ago.
Before his animal rescue work, Mr. DeVane took over DeVane Paving Company’s family business in Valdosta. He owned a water system business for eighteen years. He currently remains busy managing his extensive rental properties.
Asked why this award was given in Mr. DeVane’s name by the Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, www.BurtonFletcherFoundation.org, Fletcher said, “Charles DeVane is the whole package with longevity, breadth, and depth of community service, locally and statewide, that is quite remarkable. It was easy to recognize him with this most deserving honor.”
Tara B. Parker, a member of the Board of Directors for Thomasville/Thomas County Humane Society and a long-time trailblazer in the animal rescue community in South Georgia, said this about Mr. DeVane.
“Charles DeVane exemplifies what an incredible animal advocate looks like. Throughout his lifetime, he has devoted thousands of hours and dollars fostering, donating, transporting, rescuing, and serving on boards, building a shelter, volunteering, and meeting with lawmakers and advocates to impact our communities. Charles DeVane is what the rest of us aspire to be. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his services to animals, humans, and our community.”