Local pet protection group one of 18 in national contest


From Post staff reports

A locally based non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and caring for pets is taking center stage in a special program being sponsored by a national pet food manufacturer and grocery store chain.

New Leash on Life, formerly the Humane Association of Wilson County, has been selected as one of 18 non-profits of its kind to participate in “Tales for the Pet Lover’s Heart,” a program sponsored by Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company in partnership with Kroger.

“Tales for the Pet Lover’s Heart” is described as a celebration of the endearing bond between people and their pets.

As part of the campaign, New Leash on Life is being recognized and celebrated for its dedication to the community and to giving animals a new home.

Purina and Kroger will feature tales from 18 different animal welfare organizations on the website www.TalesForThePetLoversHeart.com.  Animal lovers nationwide will be directed to the site to learn more about the work of these organizations through the tales and to vote for the animal welfare organization they believe should receive the Purina/Kroger “Top Tale” award. Voting for the tales will take place between April 19 and July 31.  A grand prize of $50,000 is being offered in the contest.

“Kroger is excited to partner with Purina on this special promotion,” said Melissa Eads, community affairs manager for Kroger in Middle Tennessee. “We hope that Middle Tennesseans will go on online and vote for the tale of Dusty, submitted by New Leash on Life.”  A direct link to vote for New Leash on Life can be found at www.petloversvote.com.

Dusty and 14 other dogs came to New Leash on Life under desperate circumstances and their situation was more heartbreaking than most.

Seized by animal control as part of an animal cruelty case, Dusty was malnourished, filthy, and fearful, with hair so matted that he was in constant pain and nearly immobile, according to Maureen O’Nell, executive director of New Leash on Life.

She said his faith in people was as fragile as his physical condition.

O’Nell relates that with time and compassion, Dusty was able to trust the staff to clip his hair and administer medicated baths to soothe his skin.  He was now able to walk.

Concerned over his spirit, New Leash on Life called in the support of the volunteer community to get Dusty in a nurturing foster home.

O’Nell remembers that there were tears and celebration the day the court battle was over and Dusty was able to begin his life with his adoptive forever home. 

“Dusty's joy and happiness has touched the heart of many people,” remarked O’Nell “and we hope his story will inspire many to support our life saving work.”    

New Leash on Life is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the welfare of companion animals through shelter, placement, spay/neuter, education and awareness.  The organization’s family of programs serve Middle Tennessee and includes Almost Home Pet Adoption Center, The Spay Station, Snip and Tip feral cat program, and Fix for Life low-cost spay/neuter clinic.