YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD HEROES: Fort Wright woman is 'Cats best friend' | Features
MADISONVILLE, OH (FOX19) - The old saying goes that dogs are "man's best friend." What about cats? After meeting Lauren Townsend and the Ohio Alleycat Resource team, tri-state felines should not worry too much. The Ashland, Ky native and cat lover is helping get the word out about OAR and their work. After gradating from Miami University and taking a corporate marketing job at U.S Bank, Lauren discovered the shelter OAR, originally at the bottom of an antique shop in O'bryonville.
After having both cats and dogs while growing up, Lauren adopted her cat Emma at the shelter in 12 years ago and Ernest followed shortly after. The ethics of OAR was an immediate stand out in Laurens mind when she decided to come back and volunteer and time and talents.
"What I was really interested in is... It's a no kill shelter. This is extremely important because obviously there are so many cats out there in need of homes and they don't even get the chance. That is one of the believes with OAR... That every cat will find a home."
Lauren continues,"And I can't take every cat who needs a home, so I give in other ways."
Those "other ways" have lead to Lauren organizing such events as the Ebay auction and the A'CAT'emy Awards banquet and fundraiser in February.
"It's the silent approach that can make a difference." says Lauren. Since I can't be here on a regular basis... I'm using my skill sets to make a difference."
Considering that Lauren is also allergic to cats makes her volunteer efforts even more special to the OAR organization.
Development/Outreach Director Charlotte White-Hull believes Laurens background and commitment has made a difference at the clinic,"There are so many volunteers that give their love and time to sit with a cat on their lap and make it comfortable. But in the shelter environment, you don't have a lot of volunteers like Lauren who want to step in and help in ways that go above and beyond."
Currently living in Fort Wright, Ky with her husband, Lauren's current project Neuterville Express is already a huge success.
"I'm most excited about this project because it is really something that has been able to hit the bottom line. We are trying to tackle this big problem throughout Greater Cincinnati with spay-neuter."
The program that started as project with students at the University of Cincinnati has grown by leaps and bounds.
The spay and neuter van travels around the tri-state and brings lot-cost pet care straight to your neighborhood. Thousands of cats have been transported by Neuterville Express with about 8,500 surgeries completed. Lauren and OAR are just beginning to scratch the surface of of shelter's potential.
Says Charlotte,"In the next year, our organization is going to get much bigger, and we're going to rely on people like Lauren to get the word out about what we do."
Their operations in Madisonville are about to expand. OAR recently received a large donation that will allow them to add onto their Orlando Place location.
"I think volunteering its great because you do leverage your assets and your skill sets and I feel that's how you can really benefit an organization. So that's the path I've chosen to take."
You can get more information on the Ohio Alleycat Resource Clinic at http://www.theanimalrescue.com/
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