Archived Story

Setting a fine example

Published 10:11pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Often, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

When the Suffolk Humane Society holds events where it offers animals for adoption — especially the Mutt Strut, which is scheduled for the spring — the dogs up for adoption can get lost in the shuffle. But officials from the Humane Society have found that having those dogs wear fluorescent vests with the words “Adopt Me” printed on them can make the dogs stand out of the crowd.

The signs identify the dogs that are up for adoption and reinforce the purpose of the adoption events. And the signs definitely increase the “cute factor” that serves as one of the main attractions for potential adoptive families.

But those signs aren’t cheap — they run to about $25 each — and every such sign the Humane Society must purchase is $25 less the organization has to spend on caring for animals awaiting adoption, publicizing the list of available animals, providing spay and neuter opportunities and helping with the care and upkeep of its office, which is also used to house some of the cats waiting to be adopted.

Seeing the need, a King’s Fork High School student, Skyla Williams, has chosen to try to help. Williams has set a fundraising goal of $500, which would buy about 20 of the vests. She’s collecting gently used shoes, backpacks and purses, which she’ll then send to a company that promises to give her a dollar apiece for the items. That money will be used to make the purchase.

Williams joined Suffolk Humane after participating in its Mutt Strut fundraiser last year. But she comes from a home with a longstanding commitment to helping out animals in need. Her grandmother takes in cats for adoption and participates in East Coast Asian Dog Rescue, which rescues dogs of Asian breeds such as Pekingese, pugs and Shih Tzus.

Organizations such as Suffolk Humane are always eager to receive large donations from corporations and private individuals. But the small ones add up. Williams has set a fine example for others in Suffolk to follow — even the little things can make a big difference.

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