|Camels do the walk at 3rd Generation|
|Written by Jane Reed|
|Thursday, 20 December 2012 16:23|
The 3rd Generation Salon fundraiser for the Cuba Animal Control facility on Saturday, December 8 was a howling success. When Jackie West’s daughter Jodi brought it to her attention that Cuba Animal Control had some needs, she decided to sponsor a fundraiser that would involve the community and continue the salon’s habit of giving back. “How can I not give back to a community that has given so much to me for 30-plus years?” Jackie said. As a result, $469 and a truckload of pet supplies were donated to Cuba’s animal control facility.
With input from West’s staff, she came up with two free events for area kids and their parents. Although the events were free, 3rd Generation asked for donations of money or supplies for the city’s animal control shelter. She coordinated the project with two animal control volunteers, Pam Click and Nancy Christopher, who, with Police Chief Paul Crow’s cooperation, have been cleaning the facility, caring for the dogs, and promoting adoptions on Facebook and at adoption events while Animal Control Officer Frank Nowland is in the hospital on medical leave.
On Dec. 8, Santa had Story Time with the kids and their parents. All week, supplies and donations had started trickling in for Cuba Animal Control. On Saturday, that trickle became a flood, as supplies began to pile up around one of the salon’s Christmas trees and monetary gifts hit the donation bucket. Kids talked to Santa, ate cookies, and sat spellbound as Santa read Christmas classics to them. Parents videoed the scene and took many photos.
While this was going on inside, outside Loretta Mitchell and her son were unloading and penning her animals: goats, ponies, donkeys, llamas, and the main draw—two camels. Jackie and her daughter Jodi set out graham crackers and ice cream cones filled with animal crackers for the kids to feed to the animals that were now in pens.
That day, parents and kids rolled out of the salon for picture taking, animal feeding, and fun for both parents and their offspring. The looks on faces as the camels reached out to get a cracker were priceless. In the week after the event, messages came into the salon’s Facebook page, thanking Jackie for the great time that families all had. A lot of kids went to bed that night with visions of Christmas in Whoville and the menagerie at 3rd Generation dancing through their heads.
Jackie’s popular 3rd Generation Salon has a record of supporting the community. During last year’s Race to the Rocker, Jackie and her staff built a team that involved scores of members, and they plan to do so again this year. She has raised money for families in need, and picked a family for free haircuts. This year, she will make a donation to the Friday Backpacks for Cuba program and to the Cuba Senior Center. At 3rd Generation, it is a part of their culture to give and participate in community events. “I am fortunate to have a wonderful and thoughtful daughter,” said Jackie, “and I have a great team of stylists that go along with some of my crazy ideas. It just feels good to give back to a community that has helped me grow.”
Two more Cuba citizens who also felt good about Jackie’s recent giving ways were the two animal control volunteers Pam Click and Nancy Christopher. “It was more than we could have ever hoped for or imagined it would be. We have so much more than we ever did before to better care for the animals. We were like kids on Christmas morning when went through it all. We could not have been happier,” said Click. “Thanks to our community’s involvement and the hard work of Jodi and Adam Rutz; Jackie and Bob West; Loretta Robert, and Beck Mitchell; and Sandy Tucker, we feel like the animals are so much better cared for during their stay at our shelter. If they have to be there, for whatever reason, it feels so good to know that we are doing all we can to better care for them. They are warmer, more comfortable, and happier than they ever were before.”
Paul Crow, Chief of Police, under whose authority the animal control facility operates, has committed to dedicating a special budget fund for community donations, so that the money will be used for the direct welfare of the animals. He also works closely with the two volunteers to see that the standards of the facility and the care of the animals is maintained. “I am grateful that those ladies are picking up the slack while Frank is in the hospital. God bless them,” Crow said. “I am also grateful that under the new system that we haven’t had to put any dogs or cats down unless it was under a veterinarian’s recommendation. We have gotten a lot of support and well wishes from the community. It seems as if any time the topic turns to the animal shelter, I hear nothing but positive comments. I wish I could take credit for that, but it has truly been a community effort from the animal control, our wonderful volunteers, Shelter Pals, the people who adopt these furry friends, local businesses, and all the other people who support our efforts. Thank you, Cuba community; we do have a great community to be proud of.”
Click stated, “It means so much to us to know that people care about the lost and homeless animals in our town and giving them a second chance. The animals don’t know why things are better for them. They’re just happy with what they have, but we sure know why, and we are grateful.”
Things are looking up for Cuba Animal Control, but for long-term success, area citizens need to consider the pets at the kennel for adoption when adding a pet to their homes. Click maintains a Facebook page (Cuba, MO Animal Control), and Christopher runs ads in the Cuba Free Press and creates posters with photos of dogs that are available for adoption. Their ads also stress the need for spaying and neutering and proper care of area pets. If you are interested in adopting or are missing a dog, you can message Click and Christopher through the Facebook page. You can also call the Cuba Police Department at 573-885-7979 during business hours.
Click and Christopher are planning to keep the facility open on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 1 to 4 p.m., so that people can visit, meet the animals, and adopt one if they wish. The animal control building is located in the industrial park across from the school, and there are signs to direct you to the building.The ladies at Cuba Animal Control hope to have another fundraiser in the future, so things at the shelter can continue to improve and the misplaced pets of Cuba may have a brighter future until they find their forever homes.