Most everyone has a cause or passion they feel so strongly about it stirs them to do something or take action. For many people that cause is associated with animals.
For my nonprofit animal welfare group, Central Georgia CARES, it’s not only animals we care about but we also feel moved by the people who love animals. And we strive to do what we can to help them.
So we started a new project that will help people and animals. It’s a project where we go into a neighborhood where people truly love their pets and are trying their best to care for them. There may be situations where the pet parent might just need a little help caring for them or they might need a little education on how to care for them.
This past Saturday CARES’ folks packed up food, supplies, educational material and vaccines and headed to Vineville Christian Towers to meet with the residents. Vineville Christian Towers is definitely animal friendly as was evidence by the number of residents who have pets they love dearly.
It was so clear the sweet residents who have pets view these dogs and cats and family and dear companions. In fact, one little cherished Shih Tzu named Max was the apple of his mom’s eye as he rode around in the baby stroller she has for him. He was just as comfortable as could be in that stroller and he looked like he belonged there. He even looked a little proud that all the other dogs and to hoof it on all fours to get around and Max had his own set of wheels.
Then we had Dottie, the 14-year-old dachshund/terrier mix who was as sweet as sugar. There was Cooter Tick, the tiny Chihuahua mix who’d come all the way from England, and Miss Lola, who was helping her mom recover from a health condition.
We had others, too, who came to get shots and food, and lots came to participate in the education session. My Aunt Patti Deeb Jones taught about proper pet care as did my dad, Van VanDeWalker. Miss Dawn Stephens Kennedy, Mr. Buddy Pope and Miss Becky Angelo also taught part of the lesson.
The dducation session was very well received as the residents enjoyed the material we covered. They asked well thought out questions all for the benefit of their furry baby.
Then our wonderful veterinarian, Dr. George McCommon, offered annual shots to the pets who needed them. We even made house calls up to the apartments of the folks who could not make it downstairs.
One thing is clear for sure. Pets bring immense comfort and companionship to these residents. The bond of love the residents have for their babies is so incredibly strong it’s almost tangible. What we saw at Vineville Christian Towers the depth with which residents love their pets is a demonstration of the power of the animal human relationship CARES preaches everywhere.
Even the facility as a whole loves animals. There is a plaque in the lobby with the names of beloved pets who once lived at Vineville Christian Towers who have now gone on to heaven. There is also a lovely pet cemetery on the grounds as well.
I know we were at the event to help the residents. But it really seems like the CARES volunteers where the ones who were blessed.
If you know of a neighborhood where pets are well loved but their families might just need a little help caring for them send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to do CARES Nice in the Neighborhood project for you.
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