As Rich and I were going to town last Monday, we saw the figure of a little red-blonde dog sitting, just sitting, in the middle of the road.
She looked so absolutely lost and bewildered. We couldn’t just wave at her and drive on by. As soon as I got out of the car she trotted over to me on her short little Corgi looking legs and immediately, flipped over on her back, throwing herself at my mercy. She was so frightened, yet so desperate for help. There were no houses close to where we found her but we knocked on doors up and down the road. No one claimed her, nor had seen her before (surprise, surprise). She pressed herself tight against me as we turned the car around and took her home. Cami is as gentle natured and well behaved as any we have had. When I look at her adorable face, I can’t imagine for the life of me, how or why someone would just drop this little thing in the middle of the road to be hit by a car, starve or die some other terrible death. Her new foster family describes her as an absolute delight!
These “Cami” stories happen every day, right here, all around you. It is easy to ignore things that do not affect me directly. When I watch news reports about wars, riots and disasters going on around the world I know I am only getting an outside, biased report from that particular network or reporter. I can stay fairly disconnected. When I hear first hand accounts from people who were actually there, on the front lines, and have had their lives forever changed, those are not so easy to forget. It is difficult to dismiss what I’ve heard and just go on about my day. I become emotionally invested and want to help somehow. I want to get involved.
I hope that these columns affect you that way. I hope that something I say will evoke action on your part. I hope that the personal stories I tell you, that come directly from the FFAA “front lines” of the animal rescue battle, will cause you to care enough to get involved, if you aren’t already. I hope you will recognize the huge need for a good animal care facility in our area. It is shocking to people outside our area that we do not have an animal shelter facility of any kind. Our area has one of the most concentrated populations of dogs and cats in the entire nation. If any place needs an animal rescue facility it is us!
We are over two thirds of the way to our building fund goal to begin construction of our adoption center. Many have skeptically asked how we are going to sustain a facility once it is built. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know how others do it. They keep their doors open the same way we have for the last four and one half years; with dedicated volunteers, public awareness, personal and private donations, fund raisers, and good old-fashioned hard work. We will contract with the city of Neosho, as well as surrounding city and county governments to take in the homeless animals found on our streets and roads. We will provide a vital, essential service to this area and be compensated with funds to cover operational expenses. In addition, there are grants available to organizations like ours, based on need, and we should have no problem proving the need is here!
Page 2 of 2 - This Saturday evening at 7 p.m. we will have our annual FFAA Fall fundraising event at the Civic Auditorium. The Big Smitty Band will be in concert. It will be a great evening of music, food and fun. Please come! Help us move one step closer to the Faithful Friend Adoption Center becoming a reality. We can provide a safe, clean, loving haven for so many more like Cami. It won’t be long before she is in a forever home where she will be a blessing and appreciated for the wonderful little dog she is. Cami will never have to find her sweet little self sitting, lost, abandoned and alone in the middle of the road again.
Leanne Williams is president of Faithful Friends Animal Advocates.