Love and Care Blossoms in Kinloch, Missouri
Back in June, a gentle dog down on his luck wandered into the Kinloch Learning Center during summer camp hours. The staff and children were wary at first, but they didn’t shoo him away. They didn’t chase him away with harsh words throwing sticks and stones. They didn’t call Animal Control or the Police. He wasn’t dumped at a shelter where his future could only have been just a few days before being put to sleep.
They fell in love, took him in, and made him their mascot.
Kinloch, Missouri is an economically distressed and underserved community. The Kinloch Learning Center (KLC) provides academic, recreational and enrichment programs for area youth. It is staffed by volunteers and funding is always needed to sustain the center’s operation. Hard in these economic tough times when operating grants have been cut and donations have dropped. KLC Director Loretta Lipsey took Fred to a veterinarian for shots and a checkup, and found out Fred is sick. He is heartworm positive and needs treatment that will likely cost $1,000 or more. The Center cannot afford this expensive treatment for their new mascot. So they designed a special fundraiser to help pay for Fred’s medical bills.
Camp counselors Bryce Robinson and Darrick Byers, both in the Master of Fine Arts program at Washington University came up with the idea to build and auction doghouses. They enlisted the help of students in the three-dimensional design class where Robinson is a teaching assistant. With their designs and donated and salvaged materials in hand, student teams got together with saws and drills and started building. Another team of community volunteers built four other houses, some out of kits donated by Nestlé Purina.
How great is that? We all know of people who have adopted dogs, found they were heartworm positive, wince at the treatment estimate, and promptly return the dog back to the shelter or rescue group. This Center that depends strictly on donations to operate for their kids, refuse to let Fred’s medical condition get in the way of keeping him.
This is how it should be. A community taking care of one of their own. And Kinloch Missouri is not the only community out there that has come together all for the love of one dog. Just like…
River (with her friends Owney, Patsy Ann, and Black Dog)
I review hundreds of animal abuse stories every day and it fills my heart with despair. It is a blessing to find something out there that is good. The staff and volunteers of the Kinloch Learning Center must be doing one heck of a job fostering love and care for living things in the children who belong to the Center. And hey…dogs know a good thing when they see it. According to Center Director Loretta Lipsy, Fred kept coming back day after day after day.
The doghouse auction will be held in approximately two weeks. When I get the details, I will surely post them.
Partners for Pets agreed to assist with the treatment cost for Fred and Normandy Animal Hospital has provided veterinarian care. The following companies are providing materials to build the new doghouses. They are the Institute for Progressive Humanities, Ferguson Roofing and Gateway Roofing LLC.
Kinloch Learning Center
5650 Jones Street
Kinloch, MO 63140
Checks should be made out to Kinloch Community Development Association. Please put “Kinloch Learning Center – Fred” in the memo of the check.
In this world of cruelty and abuse towards animals, these children are learning the value of life and working hard to maintain it. They deserve our support.
One hundred percent!
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