For the Love of Animals
By GiGi McWhirter
Tina Heet has been a Certified Veterinary Technician with Casa Grande Animal Hospital for over 25-years. Her first retirement didn’t last long before returning to CGAH. She now makes time in her schedule to travel the world, volunteering her excellent tech skills to work in spay-neuter clinics helping underserved communities.
Most notably, she has worked with the abandoned pets in Chernobyl and Slavutych, Ukraine. After the nuclear power plant disaster, the citizens of Chernobyl were ordered out of the city with only the belongings they could carry. They were forced to leave their beloved pets behind. Soldiers shot the animals fearing contamination. Several got away and survived in the surrounding woods. Years later, two Americans working on the study noticed a lot of healthy dogs around “ground zero”.
In 2017, they organized a group called the Dogs of Chernobyl/Clean Futures Fund to bring veterinarians to the area to spay and neuter the remaining animals. www.cleanfuturesfund.org
Living and Giving in Casa Grande
By Renee Louzon-Benn, President, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce
This quote by poet William Wordsworth resonates with me: “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” There are so many caring members of our community whose compassion and attention to human dignity deserve acknowledgement.
Rather than singling out these unsung heroes here (too many to name), I’d like to recognize those individuals and organizations that help those in need in Casa Grande such as CG Cares Resource Center for homeless individuals; Seeds of Hope, St. Vincent de Paul and others that see to it that when an individual is seeking a hand up in life – they are there to offer one. The volunteers in our community also deserve a special nod – in this time of giving, we understand that time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give.
The opportunities to be kind arise every day – in fact, several times a day. You can let someone step ahead of you in line; pay someone’s bill at a restaurant or coffee shop because it seems he or she could use some good news; donate canned goods to the area’s food banks. It may not seem like much to you, but it will be to the person or persons who receive it.
Follow Your Heart Animal Rescue
By Bea Lueck
I first met Debbie Varner, the founder of Follow Your Heart Rescue, in 2012. The rescue world is difficult in more ways than many realize. Not only is it financially draining, it is emotionally exhausting as well. No matter how many lives you save, there are many others you cannot. Learning to say no is difficult but necessary.
Debbie and her team have continued to add programs and services to help make a difference. Three caring individuals, Saundra McKinley, Nicole McCracken and Tim Mattingly, work tirelessly to help the dogs in need in the western Pinal area. They travel the county picking up surrendered dogs, transporting dogs from the animal shelters to foster homes, veterinary appointments, and adoption events. They invest many hours of their time and money for gas – not to mention huge pieces of their hearts, helping make the lives of dogs in need better. They cover a large area, at all hours of the day and night.
Follow Your Heart established a “Last Litter Program” that helps prevent more unwanted litters by altering both the adult dogs and the puppies. They find placements for the pups and allow the adult dogs to remain with their owners after they are altered.
Some of the more known rescues include:
- Suzi, a bait-dog from Arizona City
- Sadie, the desert diva from Casa Grande
- Dexter, the tick-infested baby from Eloy
For information on how you can help:
www.followyourheartanimalrescue.org or on Facebook