Warm Hearts Humane Society, Montgomery County, AR

Fully accredited non-profit charity, we are in one of the poorest counties in Arkansas with our main focus getting animals spayed/neutered. Animal overpopulation, neglect, and abuse is rampant. We need homes for unwanted animals as well as foster homes for them until permanent homes can be found, as we have no shelter, animal control, or much of anything else except a group of dedicated and caring people who love animals. Won't you help us?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Schipperke Up For Adoption

The newest foster dog I have in my home is a schipperke (pronounced skip'-ur-kee) named Skipper. (Yes, I can just hear the low moan of the schipperke fans out there for the "unoriginal" name.) He is a wonderful little dog that I and the rest of the family has come to absolutely adore. How can you not love that face???
If you are not familiar with the breed characteristics, please read them before making any kind of a decision to take him (or any other kind of pure-breed) into your family. This is the number 1 reason for them to end up being surrendered into the rescue pipeline.
Schipperkes are great little watchdogs, are very loyal, fearless because they think they are WAY bigger than they are, and were also bred as vermin-killers. But, because they are so very intelligent (one estimate I read put them at the level of a 7-year-old child, though they act more like playful teenagers a good bit of the time because of their deep curiosity that often gets them into mischief), they need lots of stimulation to keep from getting bored, have a very high energy level, love to dig, tend to wander off while following interesting scents with their little noses, and frequently live to be 20 years old, etc. they really have to be fit into the right kind of family and situation and also truly do need a fenced yard. As one of the websites I referenced said,
"Because of their high intelligence, Schipperkes are extremely curious, which
is why we in Rescue recommend some sort of yard containment. It is well known
that a loose Schip is a gone Schip - not because they run away but because they
put their noses to the ground to follow a scent and, by the time they look up,
they're 3000 miles away. Even the most well-trained and obedient Schip can
get distracted as many owners have learned to their great sadness, therefore we
insist that they be walked on a leash no matter how well trained they seem."
I will be glad to furnish any information about him specifically and the breed in general to anyone interested.

I will say that he is still a puppy right now - about 7 months old or so. He has had all shots, was found negative for heartworms at the end of January, and has already been neutered. He gets along well with other dogs, cats, and children. He has never growled, bitten, or even acted like he would to anyone. He loves his squeaky ball! He really is a true joy to have around.

If Skipper sounds like the type of dog you would like to consider, again, please read up on the schipperke breed at several websites (since they all have slightly different information) to get the whole picture, and if you are interested in him, I can just about guarantee he would love to go home with you! He really is very friendly, and he will steal your heart!

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In Memory of "Tots" - Our Founder

I am sorry to have to write this post to let everyone reading it know that we have lost our founder. She passed out of this Earthly life at 4:12 yesterday, but her death was not unexpected or unplanned-for. According to Kathleen, who (along with several other members) met with her Sunday, she was concerned right up to the last that Warm Hearts would continue and thrive. She even left money to the group to ensure that we will have at least some resources to do so. Those who met with her that day did give her assurances that they would all do their very best to keep her work going, and we all hope that this gave her the peace she needed to let go.

When I read the email Kathleen sent out this morning and found out about this I replied at once to tell Kathleen that "I imagine her spirit now surrounded by the
spirits of the many animals she helped throughout her life, seeing all of those happy faces, wagging tails, and receiving many licks of love for making such a major difference in their lives for all of those years." I also asked her if she wanted to write this post herself, telling her that "we should put up some sort of a memorial post on the site to commemorate her work, giving a few stories of animals lives that were dramatically changed for the better to use as examples of the difference just one caring woman (with a bit of help from others she inspired to join her) in our county made," but she wanted me to do it, saying that what I had already written in my email to her was "a beautiful tribute to Tots" and asked that I put what I said up here in a post. So, despite the fact that I only met Tots one time and do not have specific examples of the stories mentioned, much less any pictures to share, this is what I am now doing, in addition to making a couple of updates I have been working on trying to get up here for weeks but that my computer was not working well enough to accomplish. Hopefully I will have no trouble with it while I finish making an update here and then on the photo site (even if that comes tomorrow or the next day), as we have had adoptions, a reunification, and new fosters taken in that have all needed to be noted. Anyway, here is what I wrote to Kathleen that she wanted me to share with all of you reading this:

I sure am glad I got to meet Tots at that meeting last month before she died, just as I am glad she was able to see that the group was getting more active and would continue on after she was gone. Even more glad of that fact, even, as I too believe that seeing us all working so hard probably gave her the peace she needed to let go. I, for one, intend to work at this up until the end of my life as well. I certainly am not moving anywhere and can't imagine not doing this work that I have done for the vast majority of my life, so I figure on remaining a very active member of WHHS until the day I die, just as she did and as I figure you will do as well, putting forth my best efforts to make a difference in the lives of animals in this county. With you at the helm to help coordinate and direct things, and the rest of
us doing what we can to support you and the work the group does in our own
individual ways, she certainly left it in good hands. Hopefully she will be able to see and know this wherever her spirit has gone to rest after a life so well-lived.

There will be more that our group will do to commemorate her work, but as this has been such a recent occurrence, there has been no decision made yet on exactly what that will be. At the time of this writing I have not even been informed of when her funeral will be. If the time comes and I cannot get that information posted here in time, but you see her obituary in the paper (her given name is Earline, not "Tots," in case you didn't know), then perhaps you might take a moment to hold her spirit in your heart even if you don't plan to attend. She might have been only one person in a sparsely-populated poor rural country here in Arkansas, but she had a very big and obviously warm heart when it came to the animals here in this county who needed someone to work on their behalf. One person can truly make an incredible difference in many lives if they care enough to try, and that was something that she did accomplish. She also left inspiration and a wonderful legacy that will continue on and build upon the work she started and was so dedicated to for 20 years. If there is anyone who deserves to rest in peace, knowing that their life was well-lived and had made a positive difference in this world, it was Tots. She will be greatly missed, though never forgotten.

With all of that said, I will give you an update on a bit of what the group has achieved since I last posted here and what we will be doing in the near future.

At the Quartz, Crafts, and Quilts Festival, we finally adopted out Hercules!

For those that were touched by him and kept coming back through the course of the weekend to check on him, I have wanted to let you know that so that you could share the joy we felt when he went to such a wonderful home that last day. He is a very special dog who definitely deserved the very best, and we were thrilled when we were able to place him with some really wonderful people one of our active members knows well and visits at holidays so that we will be able to keep up with what is happening in his new home and his new life.

We also adopted out both of the sisters, Missy and Sissy (Sissy was the only one left at the festival and the adoptathon before this last one),

who were living at the same foster home he was at, the two black kittens that lived here were placed (though I now have the last three ready to go now - all boys, and Bridget, the part Lab puppy I took in and rehabbed will be ready in days since she is almost through taking her meds after her surgery - all of the pics of these animals will be added to the photo site as soon as I can possibly get to it), and the dog we referred to as "Bullet"

was reunited with his family just this past weekend! He is actually properly named Lucky and, according to the very happy woman I talked to who was so very thrilled to have him back, had been rescued and taken in after being thrown out of a window of a moving car. He has had quite a life, and I am sure that when they named him Lucky, they never realized that he would be as lucky as he has been, as few rescued animals ever are reunited with their families. Adoptions are a kind of a "high" for us, but I can now say that there is nothing like the "high" you get from a reunification! He was reportedly just about as happy to see the woman who called to thank us as she was to see him, running full speed down the driveway when he saw her and landing straight into her arms.

Our next event will be a Christmas sale the first week of December. Donations of items for sale are most appreciated. Each gift item will include a card that will inform the person receiving it that 100% of the proceeds went to help the animals through Warm Hearts, so each of these unique gifts will be like giving a double gift - one to the person who receives it and one to an innocent animal whose life may well be saved. Better than making some Wal-Mart executive get richer while you buy something mass-produced in a Chinese sweatshop, huh? When I have the exact details of the where and when, I will share them here as well, so save your shopping until after you see what we have to offer for sale as gifts. Quite a few of us have been working on collecting and making these items for months to donate for this sale. And, of course, we will also have the animals with us who are wanting to share their love and your home with you or someone else you know who would be the perfect match for one of them.

Well, I'll cut this short, as it has taken me much longer to get all of this written than I thought it would, and it is getting very cold in here without any heat. I need to go and get under a blanket for the night now. Hopefully we will get our heat in before the next night of temperatures in the 30's when it arrives a mere two days from now. It makes for miserable nights without any heat and not having all of the insulation put up. But, lately there has been so much to do that we just haven't been able to get that far, and no matter what - the animals always come first around this house!

One last bit before I sign of for the night. Tots - wherever you are now, I do truly hope you are at peace and can see that your work will continue to help animals. I give you my solemn promise that I will do everything in my power to not only help them, but to work to inspire others in this community to do the same. I may not have known you well, but I have seen the evidence of your years of devotion to the welfare of animals. Your shoes may be hard to fill, but I truly believe that the good and caring folks in this great county of ours can come together and create a much better situation for them than what it is today. You made a difference here, and the ones of us left to continue to build upon what you started will work very hard to make sure that we keep that work going. May you rest in peace, surrounded by the many spirits of the animals you saved.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world.
--Anne Frank

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
--Edward Everett Hale

For the animals---

Friday, October 13, 2006

Past-Due Update

Well, I tried to write this last night, but Blogger went down, so I worked on other things. It worked out good, as I accomplished a lot that made a difference today at the Quilts, Quartz, and Crafts Festival, especially since I ended up being the only person there for the majority of the day. It wasn't any one person's fault or anything - just a lot of things went wrong, someone had to go to the hospital, so there was a bit of miscommunication, I was late arriving because of having to retrieve cats from trees and finding out only an hour ahead of time that I needed to do much more than I had expected, which caused a couple of people who had arrived earlier than I had to give up and leave, but things ought to come together better tomorrow. For one thing, we will find a better place to set up. We learned only after we showed up that we couldn't have the animals inside the building and were then pushed outside to the very back where almost no one even saw us or knew we were there. So, after getting set up and laying out what I had to sell and offer free for educational purposes and to give out the new business cards I made up that now reflect the site names and email address on them so that we can increase our visibility (as almost no one even knows we exist!) and to give people a place to call when they want to adopt, they lose or find an animal, or they come across a clear case of neglect or abuse of one, I started to work on a sign that I could put inside that would direct people outside to where I was at with the two kittens I brought with me.

At least that part was a success, as I handed out quite a few business cards (good thing I printed a bunch of those out, though now I have to buy a new printer cartridge again!), but we didn't get many donations or sell any of the few crafts I had with me. However, I found out that I was not the only one, as I heard others talking about the fact that they weren't selling much of anything, either. Then they remembered that there was some sort of a game going on and that it was only Friday, and they expect more people to be there tomorrow. And this time, we will be ready for them! So, if any of you in the community have a few crafts laying about or find this post in time to make any (even if it is only a few, even just one or two!), we would greatly appreciate your donation of them to help the animals. We are spending quite a bit on spaying and neutering right now, so we need to raise the money to keep our wonderful vet, Dr. Page, happy and paid-up for her good work, as she is a very caring person who works with several rescue groups, will go the extra mile for an animal, and deserves to be paid for her dedication and work.

I would also like to take the opportunity to announce that Snickers has found a permanent home and that it is a GREAT one! He is absolutely adored and spoiled rotten. He went to someone we know, so we get to keep tabs on him and hear stories about him, which is always a pleasure, as then you aren't just HOPING, but KNOWING that you found a wonderful, loving home for a very special animal. And Snickers WAS very special! I've never been one to take to little dogs much, but that little dog touched my heart and the hearts of everyone here. We were all thrilled!

Also, last week at our adopt-a-thon at Bob's Food City, we adopted out one of the black female kittens I was fostering (and we need the woman who adopted her to contact us immediately - we can't read your writing on the adoption form, and we have something very important to tell you about the kitten, but don't get scared, as she isn't sick or anything - we just need to discuss something with you), and we also adopted out a dog named Missy from the other foster home.

Bob's has generously offered to allow us to hold future events like that one each month, and we can't thank them enough! In fact, I went in to talk to them personally the other day, and they are very nice and caring people who love animals and really want to help. I have asked them if they would consider putting a donation box at the front of the store so that we have a central spot for the community to be able to donate animal food and other items, so we will see what they have to say about that. I hope that if they do agree to do so, that the good and caring animal-lovers of this great county will also thank them and be sure and use it, as we can always use such things. It would also increase their sales and reward them for their generosity and caring towards the many animals in our county who need help at the same time that it increases our visibility so that people know that we are here to help, as I truly believe that if our community comes together on this issue of overpopulation and the horrible suffering of so many innocent animals, we can put a halt to most of it. I haven't found a person yet who doesn't express concern about this issue, but they just don't know what to do or where to turn.

I also have another piece of good news to report. I have heard from the first person who found our site through an Internet search! She had saved a very sweet young black female Lab mix who was the last survivor of her litter, as it looked to the woman and her husband that the others had all been dumped, then shot. Well, luckily, this lady was another animal-lover and took this poor puppy in and did what she could to help, and it worked! She and her husband also were generous enough to donate money for her medical care, so her appt. has already been made to have her spayed next week. So, now, instead of being shot dead and dumped in the woods, this very sweet girl is at my home and is doing great! It only took her 2 days to get over being scared and confused, 3 to become housebroken, and now she has found her spot in the pack and settled in, giving me lots of kisses and wags of the tail whenever I awaken or return home, or just stop what I am doing throughout the day to speak to her and give her love, as I do all of the animals here when they walk into the room.

You know, it really takes so little to show animals that they are loved. I don't care how busy you are - I know that lately I have been VERY busy! - you can always spare at least a few moments to give them a little bit of love. Just saying their name (I have named her Brigit) and scratching their head, chest, belly - even getting down and giving them a big hug and a kiss on the snout - just makes their day, and they are more than eager to return the love that is offered to them. I mean, despite the way humans had treated her, within days, she has become a whole different dog and forgiven mankind for their cruelty and uncaring attitude and just pours out as much love as you will allow. So, in return, I make sure she gets it right back, as the feeling is mutual. And it really doesn't take away much time from my busy day to do it. A minute or 2 or 3 or 5 (sometimes more, as she is hard to resist because she really is very sweet and loving) really doesn't make that big of a difference in how much I get done in a day's time. Besides, as a foster home, it kinda goes with the territory. It's just part of "the job." The best part, other than finally finding that wonderful permanent home for them.

Fostering really is a very rewarding experience. You get to meet many new friends, give and receive lots and lots of love, and then you have the wonderful experience of matching up a previously unwanted animal with someone who does indeed want them. The only hard part is not getting too attached, which can be admittedly hard to do. After all, some rescued animals will never leave this place, as they totally won over someone's heart, or like, in the case of George, not only did that, but also was the type of breed (a mostly pitt bull mix) that is frequently abused and that I did not feel comfortable adopting out, as I just couldn't take the chance because there are still WAY too many people who enjoy dogfighting around here. I was NOT about to let that happen to a sweet and loving dog like George. I got him neutered just this week on the same day that we got Bill done.

As for the rest, Bullet is now officially a foster dog and has his appt. for next week on the same day as the two remaining male kittens do. Then, finally, everyone will be done! Then the hunt for homes for all of them will begin in earnest. I believe that all but Brigit's pictures are posted on the site, so if there is an animal who has caught your eye, speak up and let us know and you will have you a new companion in your home who doesn't have to go through being taken back and forth to adopt-a-thons in carriers over and over until the right person comes along. Or, if you know someone who is looking for an animal, steer them this way.

I will be right back out there at the Mt. Ida fairgrounds tomorrow (with their pictures) and will be more than glad to talk to you about any of these animals so that we can make the best match for you or someone you know and just the right animal for you or them. Besides the ones I have here, there are also a few other dogs who have yet to be posted - one has even passed the temperance test and been trained. His name is Herc, and he is brindle-colored. Kathleen trained him herself. I have met Herc, and I can vouch for not only his training, but also for his sweet nature. There is also a dog named Patches who is in need of a really good home, as her people had to give her up when they moved, one of them a young boy. Then, there is also a kind of walker/terrier/hound kind of mix who is the sibling to the dog we adopted out last week. All of these dogs are at the other foster home, and, unfortunately for them, they don't enjoy the same kind of life that the animals here do. Not that they are mistreated, but they ARE locked up when they aren't having their daily walks, whereas all of the animals here can use the doggie doors to freely go where they want.

But, if you have had your eye on Bullet, then you do need to know that he is and has to be an inside dog, as he is utterly miserable if left outside. Someone tried that, but brought him back the very next day because he was so unhappy. He currently has decided to only visit this house during the day and sleep in the bed with his head on the pillow next to my sister at night. So, I can tell you that we are going to be pretty choosy in who takes him home. Wherever he came from, he was obviously loved at some time and was well-cared-for. I really hoped that we would find his family, but despite our best efforts, we have been unable to locate them - either that, or, for whatever reason, they decided they didn't want him anymore. Or, perhaps, they moved to somewhere that they couldn't have him. That happens a lot more than you might think. It's a very sad situation. But, at least he is loved here, and we will do our very best to make sure that he continues to be loved when we place him in a permanent home. He is a young dog, as we had to cut his collar off of him when my sister couldn't get her fingers under it. So, he is obviously still a puppy and is growing a bit, though I doubt he will get much bigger.

Well, I guess that about wraps up the news for now. I'll check back in with you and let you know how things are going soon. Keep spreading the word about our county's Humane Society and especially the new sites, most especially the photo site, as we really do want to use it to reunite animals with their families and avoid the whole foster animal situation, and especially the stray-getting-shot situation! Our community can work together on this problem and do something about it, as there are many caring people here. And, if we all work together, we can each contribute in our own way, even if it is nothing more than telling your families and neighbors about us and giving them our contact information. Every household should have that, as you never know when a sad, scared, confused little face will show up at your home or your beloved animal will show up at your neighbor's. Talking to people over the past couple of months, I have heard far too many of both such stories.

We can do better than that.

And, together, we WILL!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Found Dog and a New Networking Tool - A Photo Page!

I have in my home a new dog again. He was found 9/4 by a woman who brought him to me because her dog had attacked and bit him, but he is not fitting in well here, either, and because he was in good shape and wearing a collar, we are thinking that he belongs to someone. He is young, quite friendly, loves to play (especially with children and other dogs), and even gets along well with the cats. He has a docked tail and the only real "issues" he has are that he chews a bit and he growls at the other animals when he eats (which is the main problem we have with him because we have much bigger dogs here who will attack him for doing that), though he does not growl at people. I can even walk over there and pick up the dish he is eating from with no problem. He is housebroken, but doesn't like to be alone, so whenever I leave or go to sleep, he leaves and goes up the driveway to my mother's. At night, he will climb into the bed with my sister's boys and walk all over them, waking them up when they need to go to school the next day. But all in all, he is a lovable dog and doesn't present any kind of a major problem. We have certainly dealt with worse through all of the decades we have been taking in all kinds of animals with all manners of "issues." But, if he is yours, please contact us at once so that we can reunite him with you.

Also, I would like to announce that we will be at the event in Mt. Ida on the 23rd when the live band plays, bringing with us pictures of the animals available for adoption as well as his picture, hoping to find his home. We will be holding two adopt-a-thons next month as well. One will be held the 7th at Bob's grocery store in Mt. Ida, and the other one will be held at the Quartz and Crystals Festival the following weekend. They were nice enough to donate a booth to us for the event, and we would like to thank them for their generosity and caring. If you would like to volunteer to help at either (or both!) of these events, just let us know. Otherwise, we hope to see you there.

Perhaps you will take home a new companion or would be willing to make a donation to help us further our work. We not only need money for the care and surgeries for all of these animals, but are also always in need of animal food, houses, cages, leashes, and that sort of thing. But, also we are in dire need of foster homes for the animals to stay at until we can find them permanent homes. I can tell you from experience that fostering animals is a very rewarding experience. I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I am able to place an animal in a loving home. It's a great feeling, and there are smiles all around. Animals certainly make great companions, as they are always glad to see you, never judge you, will listen to all of your problems, and give great comfort when you are having a hard day. I can't imagine a life without them around me, enriching it with their presence and frequently making me laugh with their antics and individual personalities.

I'm happy to add that the little dog I took in to foster who had the red mange (I have been calling him Snickers) has grown his hair back and will be neutered and getting his shots on Monday, along with making sure that the mites that cause the mange are completely gone before we adopt him out, but we are pretty sure they are, as he looks so much better and doesn't scratch like he did when he arrived. He is housebroken, likes to play, gets along with the other dogs and the cats, and loves children, so if you are interested in adopting him, he will be ready very soon. His only "issue" is that he likes to chew a bit and jumps on you when you get home because he gets so excited to see you (and he makes this little excited noise when he does it that sounds kind of like he is snickering, which is how he got his name), but as long as I give him something he is allowed to chew on, there really isn't much of a problem with him. I will also be taking in the mother cat to be spayed, as she is in heat, and we certainly do not want any more kittens born! Her two black female kittens and the black and white male kitten I am fostering will also all be fixed before the first adopt-a-thon, so you will see them all there, and I will have their pictures with me on the 23rd. I've decided to keep the mother and the orange kitten along with the gray striped one. I have learned that it is always better to get two kittens so they can play with each other, as they will do less damage to my home that way and are so much more entertaining to watch! Ha ha ha!

Here is the latest picture of Snickers so that you can see the difference a bit of love and proper care has done for him.

He gets along well with the other dogs and likes to play with the cats, yet he chased a rat out of the house through my back doggie door the other night, so he obviously knows the difference between friend and foe! I have two doggie doors in my house - one in the front off the porch and one in the back that is easily accessible for any animal to come in because it is low to the ground and has a ramp leading to it, so that is where the rat comes in. I was just going to have the doggie door in front, but then in the back, where I put all of the food, water, and the couch cushions that I put down for each dog to sleep on, I decided to add the extra one just in case.....I wanted them to have two exits if I wasn't home and this place ever became dangerous to them and they needed to get out fast. Besides, I could have an older or even an injured dog show up who couldn't climb up the steps to the porch and come in that way, so even though an occasional rat might enter, I believe it will be worth it in the long run.

I'll just get the humane trap we use for this purpose and catch the little rat and take him/her back out into the woods and across the river where he/she can live in a more natural setting so that the problem will cease before I get much damage done. We do this often with mice and rats. Hopefully, once the woodpiles of lumber are gone and are up on the house where they belong, there won't be so many of them around since there won't be so many places for them to shelter and nest in so close to the house. But we do have to remember that we moved into their neck of the woods where they live, so it is expected that we will have them show up looking for easy pickings as far as food goes and a nice, comfortable spot to make a nest. It may be annoying, and they may do a lot of damage, but they were here first, and I don't believe in harming them, especially when there are humane traps on the market that work very well in helping us relocate them to an environment more suitable for us and them. They can't help being born rats. And they just do what rats do, just as the kittens do what kittens do when they attack the broom while I am trying to sweep. Annoying, but expected. It is to the rat's benefit, too, because we do have the dogs and cats here, and they do get a certain number of them.

I am also announcing that we have a new way of keeping up with what animals are available for adoption, need fostering, or have just been found. So, if you are looking for your lost animal, want to adopt an animal, found an animal, or are just interested in providing a good foster home for one (or more!) until we can find a permanent home, there is a new page set up just for that. Each animal will have their picture there, along with their personal story, or at least as much as we know of it. Once adopted out to a permanent home, we will simply delete that entry. Hopefully, this central location will make things a bit easier for everyone and help to find more animals loving homes, not to mention to reunite more lost animals with their grieving families.

So, if you find an animal and want us to post it on Warm Hearts' photo page, then just email us with a picture of the animal, the date and place you found him/her (be sure to give that bit of info, too), and how we can get in touch with you if/when we hear from anyone claiming the animal. We will never post your personal information on this site or any other site or give it to anyone else. It will be kept private and only be used by us to contact you in the event that we can help reunite the animal with their family. Then, unless you wish to join us in helping the animals in our county, we will discard your personal information, and you won't hear from us again unless you choose to. Now, if you don't own a digital camera and cannot send a photo by email, then you can snail mail us a regular picture, we can scan it, then post it up there for you. Just send it to Warm Hearts Humane Society, P.O. Box 535, Mt. Ida, AR 71957. Be sure to include the same information asked for above so that we have the best chance possible of finding out where they belong. It's always a good idea to put out signs, too, especially if you can put a picture on them. Sometimes, even if the people who lost the animal don't see it, someone they know who may not even be aware that he/she was missing will see it, recognize the animal, and let the family know where they are.

As you can see, we are really gearing up to be a bit more organized and to help more animals. There are more ideas in the works that you will be hearing about very soon. Let's work together as a community to bring Montgomery County from the bottom of the list for animal welfare to the top and become a bright and shining example for other counties to follow!

I'm willing to do my part to see that happen. Will you?

Do you have a Warm Heart, too????

"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not
enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them whenever they require it."
--St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My First Meeting as an Official Member

Well, I went to the Warm Hearts meeting at the Mt. Ida Civic Center and, as promised, brought food. They were quite happy with that, as they said that no one had ever brought food before to a meeting. Maybe it's just because I am from Louisiana, but where I come from, you never have a get-together without food! Food is such a big part of life, you take pride in your cooking (men and women alike), and you always share, even if it is the last you have. Down there, if someone comes to your house to visit, the first thing you do is to offer them something to eat and drink. That doesn't happen up here. At least I haven't experienced it - sometimes even when the person I have come to visit is eating themselves. They will just say something like, "Sorry to eat in front of you, but..." That would never happen down where I came from. You might be offered something to drink here - might! - but rarely food. This is just such a strange concept for me, as it has been so ingrained in me to offer such hospitality to a guest. Just as it is ingrained in me that you are never rude to a guest in your home, no matter how much you may dislike them. You are polite, perhaps coldly polite, but polite. Up here, I have seen people open the door, see who is standing there, then slam it shut without a word just like I have seen people refuse to answer the door when it is obvious that they are home, and even (gasp!) tell someone to get right back in their vehicle and leave and not to return. Nobody ever drove away from my house drunk, either. Their keys just ended up mysteriously missing until the next morning, forcing them to have to sleep on the couch. Don't get me wrong - I am not putting anyone up here down or anything - every place has different ways, and I have seen some pretty fine people do some pretty nice things since I came up here, especially that first year when we came up with no jobs or the prospect of getting any right off the bat, having the responsibility of a baby and a puppy on us, knowing no one, and just pitched tents to get away from the crime and meanness of the city, determined to start over and live a better life, working hard to get a cabin built before winter (and we did - we tore down barns to do it and picked up cans off the side of the road for gas, just as we foraged for food - Mmmmm, those were good blackberries and pears). We all pitched in together and made it work. Well, all but one of us, who left back for the city, but is back now, trying all over again, but living in much better digs than a tent and not scrambling for survival quite so hard. But I remember that it was the kindness of strangers that year that gave us a nice Christmas dinner. It was quite a surprise when a local church sent us some food, and we really did appreciate it like you wouldn't believe! Now that wouldn't have happened in the city, and that's what I mean by different places having different ways. I love it here and don't ever intend to leave. And I have met some wonderful people here, too.

Virgil was surprised to see the way my family treats each other. We may be extremely angry at another member of the family, but if that same person gets in a bind, we are right there to help. Family is family, and that is that. We had a saying down there about it even - "You can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family. You just have to love them anyway, even if you don't like them much."

Totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand, but then that's another thing you will learn about me - I tend to ramble a bit, but then that's one way you get to know me and the kind of person I am. But then I am just one of those people who believes that a stranger is just a friend I haven't met yet. (Yep, I talk to people in line at stores, too, along with apparently other embarrassing things.) Oh well, I'm me, and I don't try to be anyone else. At least I am nice and friendly, peaceful, love babies, and adore animals of all kinds - even snakes. I even think that mice are cute, if a bit destructive (but then so aren't kittens and puppies?). But not bugs. I can't stand them. At least not most of them. I have been working on that, but there is only so far I can go with it.

Anyway, to get back to the subject at hand, I just brought some sandwiches cut into quarters, some organic baby carrots (I just love those things!), and then I brought a variety of different crackers along with a bag of chips (something I rarely eat, but keep on hand most of the time - mostly for guests, ya know? Never know what someone might want to eat. Ha ha!). The vegetable crisp crackers and the carrots were what were consumed the most, but there was still hardly a dent put in them.

Part of the reason, though, is that there were just so few people there. In fact, I was the only new person to show up, and I have unofficially worked with this group before just as I have worked with other rescue groups, like For the Sake of Animals over in Polk County, as well as ones in other places (In fact, I spent a whole summer volunteering at a shelter called Adopt-A Pet in Shreveport, LA when I was only 14.) So, I wasn't exactly "new" new, just "new" as a formal member and "new" as in attending my first meeting.

I was also the youngest person there (which was not encouraging - don't young people care?), and there wasn't a single man there at all. Unless there is another man who is a member who just wasn't at the meeting, I guess Virgil (my man) will be the only male member of the group. Sad. I can't believe that, in this whole county, there aren't more people who care enough about the horrible animal welfare situation here to actually step up to the plate and at least try to do something to help. In fact, I believe there were only about 6 people there. Rather disappointing, actually. Not exactly surprising from what I have seen since I have lived here the past 11 years, but very disappointing, especially as Kathleen had written her first column in the paper which practically screamed for any kind of help at all and even told people that there was a website naming this county as one of the worst in the South for animal welfare. Is there no shame felt about that? Or, do I dare to hope that there are those who feel it, but that those people just don't know what to do. If it is the latter, and I am desperately hoping so, then why didn't they show up like I did to find out how they could best help????

Even worse than the fact that there were so few people who cared enough to even attend this meeting to find out how they could help was finding out exactly how financially broke this organization truly is. There was no shortage of ideas of how to improve the organization and truly work on the problem (with a large emphasis on spaying and neutering - the very reason I have not put up a sign reading "free kittens until they are unable to reproduce and make the problem worse, even though I really cannot afford to care for this many animals), but the sad part was that even every good idea was tempered with a but...

But, how much will it cost? But, where will we get the money? Even worse, when someone actually did have an idea of how to earn a little (and I do mean a little) money, there was yet another but...

But where will we get enough people to help do this? Who will do it?

I kept finding myself saying, "I will. I can do it. I'll do it." I don't yet know how I will find the time to do all of this, finish building my house, take care of all of these animals, and still get a big new chicken yard expansion built so that they may roam more freely and engage in more natural behaviors, while taking care of the insect problem down by the garden as they fertilize it, and still yet be protected from the dogs and other predators. (Yes, we even take in rescued chickens, too.)

But you could see the doubt in most of the faces there. Obviously they don't know Virgil and me too well. Luckily, Kathleen does, she knows exactly what we are capable of and just how determined Virgil and I are when it comes to helping animals. I mean, they are helpless and totally dependent on us for food, shelter, and love, and they surely didn't ask to be born into their sad situations. It's really the luck of the draw when it comes to whether or not an animal has a good home in this county. It is totally up to the whim of the people who have them there.

It will still be a little while before Virgil can really do anything (long, involved, and personal story I may further share on our own blog at a later date more than I already have), but I can and will do everything humanly possible to help the animals of this county who need it. Just please quit dumping animals on us. We truly cannot take care of any more (well, we can take in more chickens once the expansion is built, but that will probably be next year because we have to get this house to where we won't freeze this winter, and if more animals show up, all of the ones already here will suffer because there won't be enough money no matter how much I sacrifice to take care of anyone properly because I can only stretch it so far, and we are stretched further than what we can afford right now - we are not and will not become what are known as "hoarders." So, anyone even thinking of dumping any more animals here might as well just take them and have them put to sleep. Really. I hate to say it, but it is better than everyone suffering. Besides, none of these animals I have taken in, rehabilitated, and found homes for were my responsibility. My animals are all fixed, and I care for them. You need to do the same. You assumed responsibility for them when you got them - not us. You wouldn't dump your children in the woods because things got tough, now would you? So, please stop dumping animals here. If you truly cannot care for them, you find them a home.

I just wish I had money to give and to care for more animals than I do. If I was rich, that's where it would go - not fancy clothes or cars or anything like that, but to make the world a bit better for those I could help. That's the one thing I don't have (though I did cough up the annual membership dues for our household - it's only $15/individual and $25 for a whole household, so I gave them the $25 for Virgil and me to become members, and if I can do that on my tiny little check I get and find something else to sacrifice this month to pay for it, I believe that others can too, especially those who have jobs. Neither Virgil nor I can ever work again, according to the doctors (in fact, I am a chronic pain patient who will hurt every minute of every day for the rest of my life - getting hit by an 18-wheeler will do that to you, and Virgil isn't any better off, so we will always be scraping by and barely making ends meet,and I really wish that you people would be a bit more responsible and quit pushing your problems off on others, especially those who can least afford it. (We have given our own food to the animals and gone without supper just like we have not filled a prescription when it ran out because the animals needed food - we would do the same for our children, so how can we do any less for those just as helpless and dependent as kids are?) Right now we are also bearing the burden of 6 rescued cats and a rescued dog who has to be treated for mange. So, we can't really afford it, but then, how can we not help when the situation is so very dire and they would be dead without us?

At this point, $25 is really no more than a drop in the bucket as to what Warm Hearts needs, even though it was quite a lot for us, but if more people dug down deep and gave what they could (hey, even some shallow digging would help), it would all add up. Even a little pocket change adds up when a bunch of people give it.

I can understand that not everyone can devote much time and energy to actually going out and spending the entire day sitting in a parking lot trying to find homes for animals or even being able to open their door to a homeless animal. However, $25/year is less than 7 cents/day. I mean, come on. Most people blow more than that in a month, if not in a week. The next time you buy a Coke, think about that. Do you really need that worse than an animal needs food? Is that piece of candy more important than helping to make sure that an animal gets spayed so that she doesn't produce even more unwanted babies who will, in turn, reproduce themselves if they are not spayed? That's the kind of sacrifice I am talking about. Not a big one. I'm not asking anyone to go without food or medicine like we have done, but a few Cokes? When you think of it that way, it isn't really that much of a sacrifice at all, now is it?

I may not have much money. But I do have time, lots of love, and did I mention determination?

I put this website together the day/night I met with Kathleen and she told me how badly Warm Hearts needed help - help I could easily give. I even stayed up all night last night adding features to it and setting Warm Hearts up with their own email address. And I have spent all day today writing this post because not only do I care that much when I see yet another starving animal wander up or work very hard to save a litter of kittens someone dumped in the woods, only to lose them one by one to a tick-borne disease, but I simply do not understand how an entire county full of people can and does allow this to happen. Repeatedly, no less. Now, there is also a site meter I put on here that will tell us how many of you are actually even bothering to read this and, if you don't live in this area and yet still find out about the plight of this small, but dedicated, group of caring people trying to tackle an overwhelming problem of untold horrible suffering, then it will tell us how you found out about this site so that we know better how and where to focus our time and efforts to try and gain funding from outside this area.

There is also now a new feature added that will allow you to subscribe to this blog so that you know when it has been updated so that you won't have to keep coming back to check constantly - just plug your email address into the box, and you will be notified when there is something new to tell. Hopefully that will be often, as we are going to work very hard in a variety of ways to engage a larger part of the community (and if you have any ideas, please share them!), and we will also be announcing events we will be holding to raise funds, not to mention keeping you up-to-date with the wonderful animals who are literally just dying to share their love with you if you but open your hearts and homes to them.

Finally, there will also be what resources we can find to help educate people, as I have noticed that quite a bit of abuse/neglect is simply caused by ignorance and myth, like the so-called "fact" that it is necessary to half-starve a hunting dog to train them to hunt or that physical punishment will stop unwanted behaviors - the most common being the belief that rubbing a puppy's nose in his/her own waste and then administering a whipping will stop this behavior.

Well, I am here to tell you that these are both untrue. I have potty-trained many many puppies through the years, most within a week, and all of them with positive reinforcement (and I will be more than glad to help you do this if you but write and ask). A puppy has the natural desire to please you, and if you simply take them outside just as soon as they are finished eating, they will do their business out there. Then, as opposed to whipping them and/or fussing at them, you praise them over and over again, always using the exact same wording (I tend to use good puppy! - potty outside!, whereas, if they go in the house, I simply tell them "no!" potty outside!," thus the words "potty outside" are the ones that are repeated every single time - just as with children, consistency is the key here) and this is usually accompanied by a reward of a treat of some kind. I start out with actual dog biscuits or a type of treat like that, accompanied by lots of petting, praise, and love, then eventually drop the edible treat and leave nothing but the praise as they get older and have already learned what they are supposed to do. When they learn that this behavior is what makes you happy and that they are rewarded for doing it, they will continue to do it until it is a habit. Doggie doors are especially helpful, especially if you will be gone for awhile each day, and you can just make your own like we have. This new little rescue learned in two days to go outside and now uses the doggie door without me saying a word. But I always keep treats handy for when I have to do something unpleasant, like give them a shot or some nasty-tasting medicine, bathe and/or dip them, pick a tick off their face, or something equally "torturous." It really takes so little to make them happy and well-behaved. And, for that, they give you their all and love you unconditionally with their whole heart, being there for you whenever you are down, listening to you whenever you have a problem - all without judgment. JUST LOVE.

And, as for starving a dog to get them to hunt, well, Virgil used dogs to hunt for years and rightly points out that these dogs need a good quality food to have the calories to even be able to properly and healthily engage in the added requirements put upon their bodies to run through the woods for hours on end chasing prey for you. They are also more inclined to do what you want them to and go after the species you want them to if they aren't starving and putting all of their energy into just finding something to eat. He doesn't hunt anymore, and our dogs are not required to do anything they don't want to do except get vaccinated and treated for parasites and things like that. They are just members of the family and pretty much do as they please as long as they cause no harm to others or property that isn't theirs.

I could go on and list other problems and how to deal with them, but I will save them for another post, as I believe you get the basic idea.

Positive reinforcement and love work better and win hands-down over negativity and fear every time.

It's way past time for an attitude change towards animals in this county and for the citizens who live here to catch up with other, more enlightened, parts of the country where strays are not a problem, and animals certainly are not dumped and/or shot. Let's all do our part to help wipe off the taint of shame, educate the ignorant (most of them aren't stupid - just ignorant because they have never been shown anything else or any other way in the same way that abused children often grow up to either be abusers themselves or marry them and continue to be abused themselves).

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Because life is not just about what you do, but also about what you don't do when you should.

Let's break the chain and stop the cycle so that we can hold our heads high when we say we are from Montgomery County, AR, where we all do our part to ensure that no animal is unwanted or unloved, much less mistreated. Most people in this county are devout Christians who take their religion seriously and truly believe that Jesus is their personal Savior. You often even see the now-common little bracelets people wear to help remind themselves to be better Christians.

Well, what would Jesus do in cases like those listed above????????

Would HE starve a dog? Hit or kick one? Rub a puppy's nose in their own waste?

Above all, would HE dump babies in the woods to fend for themselves????

I think not.

"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them whenever they require it."
--St. Francis of Assisi

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who
can do nothing for them, or to them."
--Malcolm Forbes, 1919-1990

"Dogs are like children, they act like the people who raise them."

"I have learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the very strong."
--Leo Rosten

Monday, August 07, 2006

The rescues - pictures

Well, here we go. This first one is a picture of Baby (the mother cat's name, as I found out when discovering who she had really belonged to before she bolted - Boy! was that one happy woman when she found out that her precious kitty was not only okay after going missing for 2 weeks, but was going to a home where she would be loved and well-cared-for and that, if her situation ever changed to where she could have a cat again, that Baby would be here waiting on her so that she could get her back - albeit spayed to where she could never have kittens again, which she was also glad of because she never intended for her to get pregnant in the first place and raised her as an indoor cat.)

This situation ought to prove to people how important it is to spay/neuter your animals, even if you never intend for them to get outside, because she obviously did get pregnant anyway during her first heat. She was quite lucky that someone like me was directed to the problem and rescued them all, as the people who owned the house she picked to birth these babies under were only feeding her chicken skin and were about to get rid of the whole bunch, thinking that she had been dumped. This was one of the rare cases where that was not the fact, and it made me feel really good to not only save the mother cat and her babies, but also to settle the mind of an obviously distraught woman who had been worrying for 2 weeks about what had become of her cat after taking her to her mother's (who wouldn't allow her inside - scary, obviously, for a cat who has never lived anywhere else), especially knowing that she was ready to give birth at any time. I don't know what would have happened to the cat if she had been discovered living in the apartments where this woman lived, though, as they did not allow animals there and were about to inspect the place - the whole reason this happened. Another lesson - if you can't keep and care for an animal, please don't get one!

At least this story has a somewhat happy ending, except for the fact that there are now kittens born and to find homes for in an already overpopulated area, and I can never be completely sure that the homes I find will be good ones - you just have to hope. The one thing that is for sure is that they will go nowhere until they they are rendered incapable of reproduction and adding to the problem. That is now the formal policy of Warm Hearts, and it should be one that all rescue groups share.

Here's Baby's kitten whom I named "Spunky" the moment I found them because the kittens were pretty much feral, and he just kept hissing and spitting at me. It was so cute! Just a little bitty guy at only 2 weeks and just all "cattitude!" It only took me a few days to get them all calmed down and used to me, though. But the sight of that tiny little face spitting up at me out of the box I grabbed out of a dumpster on my way to go and rescue them was just so funny! (I now have bought myself a proper cat rescue carrier that is canvas and folds up so that it doesn't take up much room in the trunk of my car, and with the adoption of Hippie and Missy, I obtained a regular cat carrier that will hold more cats comfortably. I just don't carry it with me as part of my emergency rescue kit, like I do the new one, along with a sheet. I try to stay prepared, though, as you never know when an animal will need you (like the day we used the truck and my body to block a whole highway to catch a chicken whom had fallen off a Sanderson Farms truck we had just passed).

Here is the kitten we call Hippie who was brought to us a week after we rescued Baby and her 2-week-old kittens.

And here is her sister, Missy:

They were both 8 weeks old at the time, and while Baby freaked out at first and didn't want them anywhere near her babies, eventually she adopted them and even allowed them to nurse alongside her own. In fact, despite the fact that all of the kittens are more than old enough to be weaned and eat solid food just fine, she still allows them to do this, though she did make a half-hearted attempt at making all of them stop when hers were old enough.

I have to say that it was really cute back then, when there was such a major difference in size, to see them all nursing side by side. Probably not too good for Baby, though, as she has remained a bit too skinny, in my opinion. Besides, she was just too young to have babies, it being her first heat and all. Of course, in an ideal world, she would have been spayed and never allowed to breed. The woman who had her said that she had been working on doing just that, but had been unable to afford it. Even with the vouchers the rescue groups give out (when they are even available and the money hasn't all run out), it still costs $35 to spay a cat. That may sound cheap to some of you, but for someone who is poor enough to have to live in public housing, that is a lot - just like it is a lot for me, especially when there are so many needing to be spayed. I just can't afford to do it, so here they sit.

This is one of the biggest problems around here - not enough money. Warm Hearts doesn't have it right now, either, as there are 2 horses involved in an abuse case that must be cared for and that Warm Hearts is taking care of for now. That is a major expense! We used to have a mobile spay/nauter clinic about twice a year that was quite successful in getting large numbers of animals fixed, and I went there to get most of mine done. I even was lucky enough to qualify for and find a sponsor willing to pick up my part and only had to pay for the rabies shot they give wheneve they spay/neuter an animal (though we usually do that here and just did with all of my dogs over the past two days). Rabies usually isn't a problem, and I have never had an animal get it, but then I always give them that shot, too. You can buy them for around $5 at the feed shop, so I do. I am especially glad that I did it now, too, as we have had a rabid bat turn up this past week. At least all of my animals are fixed, as are the rest of my family's, but we have to get Baby fixed ASAP! And, just as soon as Warm Hearts does raise some money, Baby will be the first to be spayed before she comes in heat again. Then come the rest of the kittens so that we can get them adopted out quickly. It makes me nervous to have this many animals at once because I always fear that there will be more needing help and that I won't have the room or be able to afford to do so. I would try if I found one dumped, though. What else could I do????? And it really isn't a matter of "if," but "when."

And here is the little guy I picked up out of the road that has the mange. He is getting much better, as I am using a combination of internal medicine with some external ointment that helps with the scratching. He seems to have more energy now and definitely scratches less. I purposely have not named him, as it seems that every time I name an animal, I get stuck with them, so he is just referred to as "little guy."

Here is the article that prompted me to formally join as opposed to just working on my own and ocasionally with them, and I hope that it prompts others to do the same. The last I talked to her, quite a few people had called asking for vouchers, but only 2 had called wanting to join. You don't have to call her to join, though - just show up at the Mt. Ida Civic Center at 2:00 on 8/13. It would be nice to have an idea of how many people to expect so that I can prepare the right amount of food, but that's okay if you can't/don't call first. As you can plainly read in the article, we need all the help we can get!

And you don't have to show up, join, or even live around here to do that, though it would be nice, as I have some good ideas on not only how to make Warm Hearts stronger, get more people to spay/neuter their animals, get more funding and foster homes, not to mention adoptions, but also how to make this community stronger and be better off economically. However you can help at all, please do! Soon there will be a PayPal button on this page to make it easy to donate that way, but for now, you can just mail a donation to this address:

Warm Hearts Humane Society
P.O. Box 535
Mt. Ida, AR 71957

Here is the article as it appeared in the July 20 issue of Montgomery County News:

Have a nice day!

For the animals-----

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Welcome to Warm Hearts!

Although Warm Hearts Humane Society is a fully accredited nonprofit charity, we are still but a loose collection of caring and dedicated animal lovers determined to improve the horrid situation far too many innocent animals endure in our county. Montgomery County, Arkansas is a very poor county with no animal control, no shelter, or any real recourse for these animals but for them to be lucky enough to find those few of us who are willing to open our hearts, homes, and wallets to help them. The founder of Warm Hearts is not going to be with us much longer, as she is dying, but there are those of us who are very determined that her work continues.

At this moment, I personally have 8 rescues (in addition to my own 3 dogs and a few chickens, whom I also rescue - I will take in any species that needs my help and have been doing so for almost 30 years) and am trying to catch another dog who has been dumped on the road, but is too afraid to let me to come close enough to catch him/her and bring him/her home. So, as of now, I have a solid black mother cat and her three 10-week-old kittens I rescued from under a house (only one of whom is male and striped, with the other two being female and black like their mother), two 12-week-old kittens (one is a long-haired orange and white female and the other a black and white female), a pit bull mix puppy named George (whom we will be keeping since I don't trust anyone else around here to adopt him - too many dog-fighters), and the newest rescue is a small black and tan dog who, unfortunately, has red mange. He appears to have been dumped at the same time as the dog I cannot catch, as they appeared together on our road within the last week and both have mange. I am currently putting food out for the other dog in an attempt to win enough trust to be able to reunite these poor dogs and bring them back to health so that I can try and find permanent homes for them.

My biggest problem is that, being disabled and unable to work, I am not really financially able to care for this many animals and certainly cannot get them all fixed. This is a common problem around here, and I cannot in good conscience adopt out any of these animals with them still possessing the ability to reproduce and further aggravate the problem. Did you know that just one mother cat is capable of generating thousands upon thousands of offspring during her lifetime? That is a LOT of suffering! I rescued a whole litter of kittens whom had been dumped in the woods across the road from me, and all of them died from a tick-borne disease, despite my and my sister's best efforts and some hefty vet bills.

This terrible and unnecessary suffering can all be prevented if we can just get these animals fixed and convince our neighbors to do the same, but there are just not enough funds to accomplish that at this point. Foster homes are hard to come by for this reason - there is just no money that Warm Hearts has at the moment to help out people who are willing to take these animals in. I am providing all of the food, litter, and medical care, though a fellow Warm Hearts member and dear friend did bring me some medicine today (THANK YOU!!) to try and help cure the mange, as she has had luck with this before. Few stray animals in this county are this lucky - very few. Therefore, many of them die by gunshot when someone calls the sheriff's office to report a stray. None of the officers likes this duty, and they are glad that there are at least a few of us willing to do what we can, but there are simply not enough of us.

If you live in this area, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!!!


You don't have to have money - just the love, time, and a willingness to help in any way possible. Read last week's Montgomery County News to see the column on ways you can help.

Then, please join us at the Mt. Ida Civic Center at 2:00 on the 2nd Sunday of each month so that we can all meet and put our heads together to discuss how best to deal with this terribly sad problem. Our next meeting is on the 13th of August, and I will provide some refreshments.

Meanwhile, keep checking this site as we continue to get it set up and updated. There will be pictures of all of the available animals, a PayPal button for easy donating, and a mailing address if your prefer to help that way.
Until then, just send us the energy to do this much-needed work, and if you are a religious person, a little prayer wouldn't hurt. We can use all the help we can get. Thank you for caring about animals.

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
~Edward Everett Hale

For the love of animals------

(George returning the love he has received here - in this case, to my sister.)