Two DVMs and veteran animal rescuer join FHS board

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Two veterinarians and a veteran animal rescuer have added new skills and experience to the now 10-member volunteer board of the Foothills Humane Society in Columbus.

Diane Balding, DVM, says, “I was born with a love of animals…horse crazy as long as I can remember.” She graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. With a special interest in animal behavior and feline medicine, she owned a practice in Ocala, Fla. After selling the practice she went into a graduate program at the University of Florida in pharmacy and healthcare administration. Most recently she taught biology, anatomy, and physiology part time at Spartanburg Community College. Now retired in South Carolina with her husband, four horses, a dog and cats, she brings to the board “a passion for helping all animals live a life free of hunger, disease, and stress.”

Gloria Verrecchio, DVM, CERP, after a career in advertising accounting, resigned as an assistant comptroller for a major agency to become a slightly gray-haired veterinarian student. Realizing a life-long dream, she graduated as a mixed practice DVM in 1997 from the University of Minnesota. After working in private practice, she combined a small animal relief veterinarian business with owning and operating an equine breeding farm. Moving to South Carolina, she earned post-graduate certification from the University of Tennessee as a certified equine rehabilitation practitioner and now specializes in equine postural and motion rehabilitation as Penridge Veterinary Services, online at

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In addition to board responsibilities, both Diane and Gloria are already volunteers with the Foothills Humane Society equine division, FERA (Foothills Equine Rescue Assistance) and will continue working with the team. Gloria will also volunteer laser therapy for pain relief in shelter dogs and cats with musculoskeletal problems.

Sami Bolton brings to the board more than 25 years of experience in broadcast television advertising, more than four years operating a tack store, and many years of rescuing dogs, cats, horses, pigeons, turtles, and snakes. An avid horseperson, she has been a whipper-in with the Green Creek Hounds and has ridden with other hunts. She’s been a volunteer with TROT and is in her sixth year as a volunteer with Team Nunki which is working to save a nearly extinct breed of wild horses. She looks forward to helping the shelter with social media and community relations. She says, “My experience and talents would lend themselves to fund-raising and I’m happy to walk dogs.”

As the first official duty, the three joined in at the annual strategic planning session to help update the 2016/17 plan for 2018 and beyond.

– submitted by Vincent Verrecchio