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?

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.)