Daily Archives: July 3, 2013

OT: My Other Passion . . .

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As you might have guessed, it’s for animals, particularly animals with no homes and no one to love and cherish them. Here in LA (Lower Alabama) we have all too many homeless cats and dogs and some folks who still need educating about the pet overpopulation situation. We are not a wealthy state. There are families and individuals who really want pets, who want to enjoy the friendship and companionship these wonderful animals can bring, but who also need assistance in getting medical needs taken care of in order to be able to afford that kitty or canine.

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Our beautiful Seabee, the dog we took in with Jack *sniff* early this year.

Our Butler County Humane Society, which has members from not only our county, but several adjoining counties, works hard to make a positive difference in the lives of homeless (and endangered/abused) animals in our area. Some of the stories we’ve encountered are heartbreaking; thankfully, many do ultimately have a happy ending. 

Hundreds of animals each year are saved from being put down at the Greenville Animal Shelter, the city-operated pound, because of the no-kill “Second Chance” shelter we established just outside the city. My wonderful cousin-in-love Kandys, a long-time animal lover and owner of a pet nanny business, runs Second Chance with volunteers and faithful part-time employees, including a gentle giant named Tommy. 

Many of the animals that have gone to Second Chance have either been adopted locally or been transported to other states where they have found fur-ever homes.  No healthy animal, or animal with a condition that can be cured with treatment,  that comes through our doors is ever put down.  At times there are overflows and these animals are fostered at satellite locations around the county.  We also work with and provide transport to and from a clinic an hour away, Alabama Animal Alliance, which provides low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to citizens of our county (including yours truly) and we have performed a large number of Trap-Neuter-Returns with feral cats.

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Buddy with Uncle Rascal. Can’t tell you how much these two add joy and laughter to our lives.

All this takes money.  We hold various fundraisers throughout the year, we have collection jars in area businesses, we seek out and obtain grants and send out donation letters to supporters. We took in more than $60,000 last year. That’s great. The problem is, we spent more than $80,000.

Our biggest expenses are medication and food and medical costs. We pay a portion of the costs for locally done no-cost and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and for examinations of animals in cases of suspected abuse/neglect (thank you, Dr. Josh, for working with us). We are always looking for ways to cut expenses, but it must be without sacrificing care we provide for the animals.

One of our annual fundraisers is a pet calendar, for which we hold an pet photo contest through the month of July.

My question for you, my readers is this: would you be interested in submitting photo (s) of your own pets for our calendar? You do not have to be a resident of Butler County to participate–just an animal lover. And it doesn’t have to be a dog or cat. Horses, rabbits, hamsters, birds, lizards–all are welcome.

We just need good high-resolution images, black and white or color, with digital files preferred, along with a little information about pet and owner. There will also be a memorial page to honor those loved and lost.  I think we’ve usually charged $5 per calendar entry with the memorial page cost a little higher.

I am looking to set up the ability to order the calendars (which sell for $10 each) online and have them shipped to customers. Obviously there would be a postal fee. All of this has to be worked out and Susanna (our calendar chair) and I still have to discuss all the particulars and get some approval on things.

The calendars are beautifully done by an area printer and I think you would be pleased with the results. At least one of you out there has one of the 2013 calendars, I do believe. 😀

I am trying to get a feel for how many folks would be interested in supporting this so please let me know what you think. And thank you for all your recent support during the loss of our dearest Thumper Cat. It means so very much to both of us.

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The serenity of the late, great Ginger, our “Mona Lisa” cat.

And I promise to get back with an Armitage-related post VERY soon. Thanks for listening!