Thursday, September 26, 2013

Checking in at the shelter

You might remember I’ve pledged to give proceeds from “On the Scent” to sponsor at-risk animals at Greenville County Animal Care Services. I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but…yeah, life has kept me a little busy lately. But I feel it’s important to keep this out there, so here’s an update on my local shelter.

It’s actually been a rough summer for the staff at GCACS. In June, and again in July, GCACS rescued approximately 300 dogs from two separate puppy mills, putting a strain on the resources, staff, and space it had available. These two incidents happened before my book ever came out, so I can’t say I used any of my book’s royalties to make donations. But I did make donations. In fact, my friend and I put our funds together and bought a carload of pet food to donate to the shelter during its special time of need. Actually, we’ve done this kind of thing before and make regular pet food donations to them and other groups, but this particular load was quite large thanks to Cindy’s mad couponing skills and penchant for shopping clearance. I wish I had a photo I could post to show all of the pet food we donated, but my friend misunderstood me and rather than snapping a cell phone picture of it all in the buggy, she took several photos of it all laid out...on a camera I can't access. So, just imagine a buggy slammed full of pet food, and you'll get the idea. I mean that buggy was packed. Even the rack underneath it was full!

I’m happy to say the shelter held a huge adoption event and most of the animals taken in from the puppy mills have since gone to safe, loving homes. Unfortunately, there were lots of animals to take their place who still need homes.
The Greys (picture was pulled from email)

The truth is, I haven’t yet received my first royalty check from “On the Scent,” but I have sponsored three cats on the urgent list since the book released. They were called “The Greys” because of their color, and they had a rescue group willing to take them if someone could sponsor the fees. The e-mail I received read “Today is the last day for The Greys boys, located at GCACS…. They have rescue if I can get any anyone willing to donate towards their $35 rescue fee each!” I was immediately reminded of my beloved gray kitty. I thought, “What if no one had saved her from this list and I’d never been able to adopt her?” My life would be so much more void of love and laughter. So I dug out my purse and paid the sponsorship fees for these three gorgeous boys. I was reassured later they had been safely removed from the shelter and were in the care of a very kind lady. And I ate very little for about two weeks until I got paid again, but you know what? By doing so, I had saved three lives. Three!

I asked my aforementioned friend what she wanted to do on her birthday and she said she’d like for me to go to the shelter with her and volunteer. So I took the day off work, and away we went. Truth? I don’t actually go to the shelter and volunteer much because I am allergic to cats and dogs. The few times I’ve gone to the shelter and volunteered, I’ve spent the next few days in bed sick — which is exactly what happened again after Sept. 6. But you know what? I’m glad I did it. I met and helped clean cages for some adorable kitties, including a little gray one I really wanted to take home. Um, I might have a weakness for gray kitties, but how could I not after meeting my best-friend-in-fur, 
the most awesome cat ever, Dusti?
Me and the lil gray kitty I wanted to adopt.

So this will serve as my first update regarding the proceeds of my book, “On the Scent.” And before you think I write this to brag about the donations I’ve made, whoa, hold up, mister! No bragging intended. In fact, quite the opposite. I wish I could donate a heck of a lot more than I have. The email I mentioned above — the one about “The Greys”? I get emails like that almost every day, and I’m often not able to help. I fear too many animals do not make rescue and end up...I don't even want to think about it.

So the reason I’m writing this is to show you the need and beg you to help. Oh, you don’t have to buy “On the Scent” to make a difference, although it would be nice for me and my local shelter. Trust me. There are shelters in every town, in every state, in every country in desperate need of donations, volunteers, and prayers. It's not that hard. A few hours of your time once a week or month. Clip some coupons and buy a few extra cans of pet food on sale. It won't break your budget. Donate newspapers and old toys. Most shelters post a "needs" list on their websites. It's not hard to find out with a simple phone call either.

Won’t you consider doing something? Even a visit to the shelter to pet dogs or cats gives them some much-needed attention, and it might make you feel better too.

Surely you can at least do that. Can’t you?
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