Business owner helps feed homeless pets at Brevard animal shelter

Donations pay for food, adoptions

AJ Hiers with his English Bulldog, Oscar.
AJ Hiers with his English Bulldog, Oscar.

MELBOURNE, Fla. – AJ Hiers, president of Boniface Hiers Automotive, is this week's Getting Results Award winner.

Hiers, a self-proclaimed animal lover, has helped feed almost 25,000 homeless pets since October of 2014. 

That's when the Brevard County Sheriff's Office took over operations of the county Animal Services Center. 

Hiers says he takes pride in contributing to several charities in the area but took interest in Animal Services after hearing about poor conditions there at the time.

"I said maybe I can get involved," he said. "We figured the best way to get involved is just to feed them."

At that point, he committed to donating over $14,000 annually to help offset the cost of food.

"There's always a need for food at every animal shelter in the U.S.," he said. "So these guys are well-fed. We hang on to them. It's a no-kill shelter. If you're not in a hurry you can hang on to them longer and get them adopted." 

Hiers was recently called a "Super Hero" to homeless pets by Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. Ivey posted the story on Facebook. 

News 6 viewer Rebecca Jennings saw that post and nominated Hiers for the Getting Results Award.

"I know the name, I've seen the commercials but I've never bought a car there," she said, holding her cat, Maurice, in her lap. "I read about everything he does and that's why I really wanted to nominate him."

When presented with the award, Hiers said he was surprised someone nominated him.

With three dogs and four cats, Jennings said she identified with Hiers' love for animals.

"It's something I wish I could do," she said. "I do my little part."

Contributions from Hiers along with several other business leaders helped pay for a shelter makeover in 2015. Improved kennels, free-roam cat areas and a dog park have been added to the remodeled facility. Hiers has also sponsored an annual holiday adoption program, paying adoption fees for qualified applicants in the month of December.  

"I think as a business person you owe it to the community to get involved," Hiers said, reflecting on what his donations have been able to accomplish. "How can you not give back to a community like this?"

About the Author: