The Heartland Helps Animal Shelter
By: Arnold Wyrick
BENTON, Ill. - When it comes to helping those in need, the folks here in the Heartland do it better than just about anywhere else in the nation. Most recently the Franklin County Animal Control Shelter burned to the ground, killing more than 50 dogs and cats.
But, within hours of the story airing on KFVS12, calls began coming into our newsroom from people wanting to help or adopt one of the animals that survived the fire.
The helping hands didn't stop within a day or two either. In fact, this past weekend the folks at the Southeast Missouri Humane Society decided to lend the folks in southern Illinois a hand. On Saturday they accepted donations from shoppers at the Schnuck's store in Cape Girardeau.
Then, on Tuesday some of the staff members hauled all of the donations over to Franklin County and unloaded the items to the employees.
"The first thing we talked about was the anguish the staff must be feeling. And about how difficult it must be to go on day after day, especially with their building burned to the ground. And they lost so many of the animals they were caring for. The least we could do was gather up some supplies and bring them over to them and see if we couldn't make life a little easier for them," said Requi Salter of the Southeast Missouri Humane Society.
And bring things over they did, an entire U-Haul truck stacked several feet thick, front to rear with pet food, cleaning supplies, blankets and even play toys for the animals.
The sheer volume of things and the thoughtfulness of others nearly brought tears to the folks at the shelter in southern Illinois.
"It's really touching to see it. I had to hide those tears in my eyes, and hold back some others. It just touches my heart to know that there's people in the surrounding area, not just here at home, all over that have big hearts, to do things like this," said Jarrett Broy of the Franklin County Animal Control Shelter.
And the giving didn't stop with just a truckload of supplies from the folks in Missouri. They also emptied out their pockets and donated nearly $500 to the shelter in southern Illinois.
An architect is scheduled to present a draft of the new shelter to the Franklin County Board this week.