The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is challenging 50 shelters across the country to save a minimum of 300 more cats and dogs August 1 through October 31 2010 than they did during the same months in 2009. It’s a contest, and the prize is $125,000. The Wisconsin Humane Society WHS is one of the competing shelters, so if you live near Milwaukee and are thinking of adopting a dog or cat, now’s the time!
Live far away? Don’t worry. You can still help. Sign up to become a member of the Save More Lives Community and comment to a blog post that the Wisconsin Humane Society published about our visit there last Saturday — shelters competing in this ASPCA challenge also get credit for any comments left on their blog posts.
I hope you’ll go through the trouble to sign up and leave a comment there. I can tell you firsthand that the Wisconsin Humane Society does great work. They bid on Hanni and me last April (we had donated an hourlong presentation to the lucky winner of an auction put on by the Association of Professional Humane Educators–the auction helped fund scholarships) and they were sincerely excited when they won us. So were we! Thanks to their terrific organizational and promotional skills, every single thing about the trip Hanni and I made to Milwaukee last Saturday was swell.
- Dezarae Jones-Hartwig from WHS was waiting for us at the Milwaukee train station, and her van had not one but two car seats in the back seat. The kids were home with their dad (thank you, Heath!) but they had left plenty of Cheerios on the floor for Hanni to munch on during our trip to the Humane Society.
- When Dezarae realized we had time to kill before our 1 p.m. presentation, she wondered if I might want to stop somewhere for coffee. Dezarae treated. We love Dezarae.
- The WHS parking lot was full when we arrived, not a single spot where we could park.
- I would love to say all those people were there to see Hanni and me, but the real reason is even better. A small shelter in Kentucky was having a hard time finding homes for all its puppies. WHS had agreed to rescue 55 of them and folks were lining up to adopt these guys.
- Others were there to take advantage of the “Luck of the Irish” promotion. In honor of Irish Fest (going on at the lakefront last weekend), adopters had a chance to win a prize or discounts from 25-100% off their adoption fee.
- With all that going on, many filed in for our event, too!
- A friend from junior high and high school was in the audience — “I live near here and I read in the paper you were coming,” she said. Kudos to WHS for doing such a terrific job promoting this event!
- A teenager who is blind was there for the presentation, too. After I read a bit from Hanni and Beth: Safe & sound out loud, I gave my Braille version to Zoe. She was thrilled. So was I.
Zoe’s mom came to our table afterwards to asked me to sign a print copy of the book for Zoe’s friend Ana, who’d come along to our presentation. “Zoe worked with Ana at the library this summer,” Zoe’s mom explained. “Ana guided Zoe around, they made a great team.”
I shook Ana’s hand. Zoe’s hand, too. Zoe’s mom was right. They made a great team. Before Hanni and I left to catch our train home, the WHS folks presented us with a thank-you gift. I’m wearing it in this picture. For my blog readers who are blind, here’s a description. In this photo I am back home in Illinois, sitting on a porch stoop with Hanni and my four-year-old great-niece AnnMarie Florence Czerwinski. I’m sure we are beaming in this photo, I often beam when I am with “Baby Flo,” the only offspring in our entire family to be blessed with my mom’s beautiful name. Plus who wouldn’t beam to be wearing this red t-shirt that says, “It’s All About the Dog” across the top?
A perfect souvenir of a perfect day in Milwaukee. Thanks, Wisconsin Humane Society. I hope you win the challenge!