Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 5, 2012



— A 38-year-old stay-at-home mom, Shelly Mullas is an active volunteer and board member for the Heartland Small Animal Rescue. She married Dan Mullas in 2005 and the couple has three children; Tyler, 8, Anthony, 5 and Gracie, 4. The family currently lives in South Bend.

Where did you grow up?

My family moved to Goshen the summer before I started first grade. I have an older sister, Amy (Hamilton) Lewman, and brother Andrew Hamilton. We lived over by West Goshen Elementary School and Baker’s Field and my parents (Jim and Rosie Hamilton) still live there. I graduated Goshen High School in 1991, and went to Ball State University for several years. I ended up going to Davenport University years later to pursue a Medical Assisting Degree, but stopped to be a stay at home mom to our kids. I met my husband Dan, in 2005 and we moved to South Bend.

What are your fondest memories of Goshen?

Some of the best memories from Goshen are from the neighborhood we lived in. It was a safe place to grow up, play and even get in trouble. I was really lucky to have some awesome neighbors who looked after me like I was their own child. I remember playing a version of hide and go seek (called “bloody murder”) with all the neighborhood kids until it was well past dark. I can only imagine how the adults of the neighborhood felt when we would scream at the top of our lungs when we found the person hiding.

We always felt safe riding our bikes to our friends houses, across town and over to Judd Drugs to get a grilled cheese and fountain cherry Coke. I spent many days in Everett’s, Murphy’s, Hooks Drug Store, Spurgeons and The Chief looking for deals with my small allowance.

In junior high, I spent my entire summer walking over to Rogers Park to watch the boys play baseball. I had a few friends who would get dropped off at my house; we would walk over and get root beer floats from The Chief and sit in the stands until our parents would come get us.

I worked for G.L.Perrys all through high school and some of college. I have fond memories of making Easter baskets in the back room, trying to catch the parakeets when they got out and helping to decorate the Christmas trees each winter.

How has Goshen changed

since your childhood?

Goshen has changed so much since I was a kid. All the locally owned stores (from childhood) are mostly gone, and the small hometown feeling has changed. Now I would not feel safe letting my kids have the same freedom my parents could give me as a kid. (And I feel the same way living in South Bend.) The good thing about Goshen is that there is still a strong sense of community, and the residents pull together when needed. I can be in a store in Goshen, and someone always stops me and asks me if I am one of the “Hamilton kids.” I love going to my old neighborhood and sharing my memories with my kids. The sledding hill on Dewey Avenue, Bakersfield Park (where we used all my mom’s spoons to dig in the sand under hot metal curly slide and used all her wax paper to make the slide go really fast!) and walking them over to the Chief. And I’m sure my kids get tired of me saying, “Well, that wasn’t there, it was a corn field” while driving into Goshen.

What are your interests?

My main passion is my family, making sure we are healthy and teaching our kids to be honest, kind and loving. My passion is being a volunteer for Heartland Small Animal Rescue. We became involved in volunteering after adopting two dogs that came from a hoarding situation about a year and a half ago. We currently foster two dogs through Heartland. It is a wonderful group that places homeless dogs in foster families that take care of them, give them love and help them learn how to just be dogs. Heartland pays for all the medical vetting, dog food and neutering for all the dogs that come into our rescue. They only ask you to bring your foster to the adoption events so they can be adopted into their forever homes. We have fostered over a dozen dogs in the past year, eight have been placed in homes, three are still waiting for their forever homes and one sweet girl passed away in our care.

Our kids love us being fosters for dogs. It is always bittersweet when they get adopted, and we cry happy tears for the lucky dogs. But they know there is always another dog that needs our love and kindness. It has taught our kids to open their hearts and love without condition and to treat all animals with love and kindness.