Article by: Rick Ramos
“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet,” said Colette, the acclaimed French author of the novel “Gigi.”
Today, too many of “our perfect companions” are languishing in shelters throughout the United States. About 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters every year in the United States, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
“It’s difficult to understand why people don’t realize that pets are gifts to mankind,” said Linda Blair, actress and star of the 1973s horror classic “The Exorcist.”
To help reduce those numbers, the Animal Welfare League (AWL) of Charlotte County and Florida Gulf Coast University’s Punta Gorda Renaissance Academy are teaming up to host an “Open House: Adopt a Forever Friend.” The open house is slated for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday May 23, at the Renaissance Academy, 117 Herald Court Suite 211 in downtown Punta Gorda.
At the “Adopt a Forever Friend” open house, the AWL will have adoptable pets on hand. In addition, author Don Landy will discuss the loss of a beloved pet, grief and grieving. There will also be human refreshments available.
Since the FGCU’s Renaissance Academy’s 2010 opening in Punta Gorda, Program Director Nancy Staub has promoted a number of community oriented events, like the “Adopt a Forever Friend” open house.
“I have a big place in my heart for animals that need a forever home,” Staub said. “My intent is to increase the chances of adoption for as many shelter dogs as possible.”
The AWL is a non-profit organization founded in 1963 that “provides temporary homes, medical services and caring attention” for dogs, cats and other animals. Annually, the AWL takes in about 5,000 animals from Charlotte County residents and Animal Control.
Existing solely on the contributions of Charlotte County residents like you, the AWL will also be accepting donations of pet food and supplies, office supplies and facility maintenance supplies, as well as cash donations. To view the AWL’s detailed “Wish List” visit www.awlshelter.org/wish-list.php.
Landy has penned two books on the subjects of the death of a beloved pet, grief and grieving. He also works with Proctor and Gamble’s Pet Group and was a guest author at their 14th AKC/Eukanuba National Champion Dog Show in Orlando last December.
Landy’s first book, “Unconditional Love: On Loan from God” is the story of Landy’s and his wife’s decision to “add a baby to the family…a nine and a half week old German Shepherd named Sabrina.” His other book “A Letter to Tia” chronicles the Landy’s lives as adoptive parents to cats and dogs and the pain accompanying their loss in “…a first person look at grief and grieving in a way that may surprise you.”
The “Open House: Adopt a Forever Friend” is a chance to see the dogs available for adoption from the AWL, discuss animal adoption with Landy, a noted author on the subject pets and enjoy some refreshments.
According to Staub, “The May 23 event is family friendly. Bring the kids, have fun, win some prizes and best of all pet a dog on the head. You just might fall in love.”
For more information about the “Open House: Adopt a Forever Friend” call 941-505-0130.