Saturday March 17
Leon County Humane Society staff and volunteers worked to bring a little of the luck of the Irish to senior citizens in the Tallahassee area. This is LCHS’s fifth year coordinating the Friends Fur Life program which collects and distributes pet supplies to senior citizens with furry friends who, like many of us, have been faced with economic hardships.
Pet food, toys, beds, collars, bowls and other supplies have been collected for months by the Leon County Humane Society, and thanks to the hard work and generosity of local donors, the wish-lists of more than 70 clients have been filled. The morning of St. Patrick’s Day, a dozen volunteer drive teams gathered at Gilchrist Elementary at the crack of dawn, and embarked to deliver packages of pet food and supplies all over Northwest Florida.
All deliveries to Casa Calderon, a local assisted living facility, were met with smiles, warmth and genuine thanks.
This program is a good thing,” said Arianne Davis, pausing to kiss her chihuahua, Precious. “I am just running out of food from my delivery last year.”
Many of the seniors assisted by this program met their pets many years ago, either as strays or in local shelters. One resident recounted finding her now 15 year old cat as a kitten in her apartment complex, abandoned by her former owners. “I came back from the laundry room and she walked right into my apartment and laid down on my bed. She picked me and we’ve been together ever since.”
There are many touching tales to be told of the love shared by these seniors and their pets. Sue Deese proudly displays the bond between her and her furry friend to everyone she meets. Ms. Deese greeted volunteers sitting in her motorized scooter with her dog, Surely, placed proudly at her feet, wearing a pearl necklace. “She rides around like this,” Deese laughed. “I take her downstairs and outside like this 4 or 5 times a day, she loves it.”
These seniors and their stories serve as a reminder that the animal friends that are brought into families early in life, often remain with them for a long time. It is important to remember that we are as fortunate to have our pets as they are to have us, and none of the clients of Friends Fur Life have forgotten this. The program completed a successful fifth year thanks to the great support from the Tallahassee community. More photos from the day »
“This has been a big help,” Arianne Davis assured volunteers delivering supplies. “You know, you get these pets when you’re in a good place in life and then the years go by, things change and it gets hard. Thank you so much for this.”
The fifth annual Friends Fur Life helped more than 70 seniors and 250 pets in 4 counties with more than 3,000 pounds of pet food. The success of this wonderful event is all due to the generosity of our donors and supporters coupled with the hard work and dedication of our volunteer crews.
LCHS would like to thank our Friends Fur Life event sponsors, the businesses who volunteered to be drop-off locations for supplies, our supporters who donated several specialty foods and items, and Gilchrist Elementary School, which graciously allowed the use of their property as a staging area.
Photos and story by Devon Kodjis
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