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March 22, 2014

Shelter takes chance on new director

NORMAN — Although Sean Popp is new to daily doggie drool, barking and mayhem, he is not new to helping others. Second Chance Animal Sanctuary took a chance on motivated, high-energy Popp and hired him as its shelter director in December.

So far, getting to know the animals at Second Chance has been the best part of the job, but those puppy dog eyes can be a double-edged sword when tough decisions have to be made. Popp could hardly deny he has favorites as a shepherd mix licked at his hand.

Yet, Popp said business is his foremost thought in every action he takes, so the best decisions are effectuated and those drooling messes of love and fur continue to find homes.

Bouncing back and forth between non-profit work and the private sector, Popp has experience working with the homeless, Meals on Wheels, drug rehabilitation and the Salvation Army. Most recently, Popp was the manager of Wild West Promotions in Arizona, a company that focused on event coordination and worked with the University of Arizona and its Greek life.

Popp grew up in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. He’s been married for 17 years to Donna Popp, who works as a commerical relationship officer at Arvest Bank. Their son, Nicholas, is a junior at Norman High and a member of the varsity wrestling team.

Sean’s love of all things furry began as a child, cleaning kennels for his dad who raised champion Labrador Retrievers. Popp said his desire to help others has always been one of his important life values.

“We moved to Oklahoma for my wife’s job, and after some discussion, I decided to get back into nonprofit work,” he said. “Giving back has always been important to us.”

When Popp initially applied for the shelter director position, he thought he was applying to work for a homeless shelter.

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