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Casper Critters

Helping Pets During the Holiday Season

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12/01/2010 - By Gayle Irwin

We all know there is great need in our community, and at Christmas time, many of us reach out our hearts and hands to help our neighbors, especially during the holidays. In addition to the human need, many animals in our community also can use an extra blessing. Fortunately, there are organizations that give companion animals a helping paw throughout the year, and these groups can use some extra assistance from us during this time of year.

As you consider helping others this holiday season, consider helping these local groups that are helping the homeless and unwanted animals in our community:

Paws2Help – started by Lisa Craft of Blue Heron Books, this 501©3 non-profit, in conjunction with Popish Veterinary Clinic, provides medical care, grooming and board for animals housed at Metro Animal Control and for homeless animals that need medical care before going to forever homes or into rescues. A special tree has been set up at Blue Heron by which people can honor others and contribute to Paws2Help. Brenda's Tree is named for Brenda Collins Newman, a young Wyoming pregnant woman killed by a drunk driver in 2008 – both Brenda and her unborn son, Cian, were killed. Ribbons to decorate Brenda's Tree will be sold in the name of lost loved ones, with all proceeds benefiting Paws2Help and their rescued animals. Ribbons are either $5 for a large "In Loving Memory" tag or $1 for anonymous smaller ribbons.

Casper Humane Society – with the new addition nearly complete, many items are needed for the dogs and cats that will be staying in "The Bunkhouse" as they await their forever homes. Toys, food, cat climbing and scratching posts, beds, and blankets are just a few of the items needed. Always necessary items needed include bleach, laundry soap, rubber gloves, and paper towels. Contact the shelter for a current "Wish List". The 12 Days of Christmas Shop is open daily in the former Flower Gallery Building until Dec. 23rd; items for sale include autographed copies of "Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog". A portion of the money raised at the shop will benefit the shelter and the animals who are there waiting for their forever homes. Additionally, PetCo is conducting a food drive for Casper Humane Society, therefore, when you shop for your own pet's needs, consider adding an additional bag of food for the animals at the Humane Society.

Casper Cat Rescue – a totally volunteer organization, CCR rescues and pays for medical treatment of abandoned and neglected kitties. Monetary donations, foster homes, transportation, and cat food and litter are all greatly appreciated! Visit www.capsercatrescue.com or call 267-2144 for more information.

There are many other organizations in our area, including Rainbow Rescue, Wyoming Border Collie Rescue in Glenrock, Wyoming Bassett Hound Rescue (based in Cody but with representatives and events in Casper - http://www.worland.com/wyobasset/). To learn more about animal organizations in our area and how you can help, go to Petfinder.com:

http://www.petfinder.com/awo/index.cgi?action=state&state=WY&city=&keyword =

As you and your family count your blessings this holiday season and fill your home with love and cheer, remember the people and pets in our community who don't have family, warm clothing or blankets – those who need love and encouragement this holiday season. Say an extra prayer for them, and if at all possible, help in some way, small or large. Remember the words of Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate this season: "What you have done for the least of these…you have done for me."

Merry Christmas!


Gayle Irwin is a freelance writer and a speaker in schools and libraries. Her publication credits include two books about her blind dog, Sage, a story Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned from the Dog (Sept. 2009), and a story in the Chicken Soup edition Devotional Stories for Mothers (Oct. 2010). She will be autographing copies of the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned from the Dog available for purchase at the 12 Days of Christmas Shop in Sunrise Center.

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