As we age, we become more sensitive to things around us. We also seem to be more attentive to the needs of our furry pets that give us such joy and companionship, more so than most of middle age or younger generations. Perhaps that is because we have witnessed abuse and neglect more than our counterparts and our concern increases with the wisdom that accompanies it.

As we age, we become more sensitive to things around us. We also seem to be more attentive to the needs of our furry pets that give us such joy and companionship, more so than most of middle age or younger generations. Perhaps that is because we have witnessed abuse and neglect more than our counterparts and our concern increases with the wisdom that accompanies it.

As you may be aware, I have been an advocate for our furry creatures ever since the beginning of a much-needed facility to protect and care for them. The shelter is up to date, and with training of volunteers at the Faithful Friends Animal Advocacy (FFAA) in progress, we are anticipating opening of a “no kill” animal shelter soon.

A little over a week ago, I received a call for help. The caller was in tears. Having three dogs already in the household and another large, black Labrador dumped on them was more than they could handle.

I could tell the caller was tenderhearted, and I sympathized with her plea for help. She had tried desperately to seek help from surrounding animal shelters, including the humane society. All were filled, including our FFAA foster homes.

The thought of having to put this lovable dog down overwhelmed me. I took it upon myself to care for Sasha. Now I have four lovable dogs under my wing. After taking her to my veterinarian in Anderson, we learned she had been severely wounded in her hindquarters and suffers from neurological incontinence.

Sasha has adapted to life here and gets along well with my three dogs and a black cat, which she likes to chase. Fortunately, Ebony outsmarts her by running up a number of trees that line the property. Sasha runs and plays and loves getting into Big Spring Branch and Hickory Creek, except when the rains make them rise with a strong current.

What she needs is a loving and caring home, perhaps at a farm where she can run and play outside. What lies ahead for her future is left for me to decide.

Leanne Williams, president of Faithful Friends, has met with city officials and confirmed arrangements on how animal placement and a cooperative service relationship will be conducted regarding pickup and placement of animals at the shelter. Everyone involved is proud this event is becoming a reality like none other. The shelter is ready to become a “first class” operation and adoption center for Newton and McDonald counties.

Continued financial support largely will come from volunteer efforts of its membership, businesses, interested individuals and donations.

FFAA’s thrift store will continue to be a source for continued income, as will donations by those who adopt animals. It takes monetary contributions to keep up with operational expenses throughout the year. Remember that donations are tax deductible.

Numerous flyers are available to post in your church, organization, business and public areas of activities. Your help in all endeavors are important to the function of a well-organized unit.

I am asking all who are reading this: If you wish to help improve the lives of companion animals in our community, we invite you to join FFAA by volunteering a bit of your time to help us at the shelter. Volunteer training meetings are available and scheduled to provide instruction on the needs and how you may assist.

This is the rallying cry from deep within. A few hours of your time each week can provide a rewarding service to maintaining a structural and well-supervised operation.

If you would be willing to participate in any of the following positions, complete a volunteer application, which is available at the thrift store at 915 W. Harmony St. in Neosho or the FFAA website, www.ffaaneosho.org.

Just follow instructions or contact any one of our members, even me, and we will see that you get an application to fill out or inform you as to where you may pick one up.

None of those participating at the shelter are being paid. It is a volunteer effort, and a worthy one at that.

Sometimes the difference between life and death is you. You will be blessed 10 times over for doing so.

 A list of volunteer needs:

• Working at the shelter with dogs and cats. This is called “socializing.”
• Daily assisting with cleaning of the large housing pens, plus feeding routines of animals.
• Being a foster to the animals as they await to be adopted into a “forever home.”
• Office responsibilities, media contact persons and support of activities.
• Assist at adoption and fundraising events.
• Become an active member of FFAA by volunteering. We are family and a fun family at that.

Dick Keezer writes a weekly column on senior topics.