To The Editor:

They live here, too.

This is a plea to help shine light on an issue that is very close to my heart, and I’m sure (and I hope!) this will strike a chord with other residents of this town as well.

Are you aware of just how many animals, especially cats, are being taken to shelters, housed for a little while, but then murdered simply because they did not “have enough space or resources?” It is horrific and cruel, and as an animal welfare advocate, I can’t accept this any longer.

Our town is growing rapidly, and as our lives benefit from the citywide improvements, our animals are still suffering and in desperate need of attention.

We need to end the vicious cycle of animals being taken to shelters and never leaving. It is heartbreaking, and we can and should do better by them. You can make a difference — please consider volunteering and/or fostering.

You will directly save a life.

Our no-kill rescues need help:

Volunteering some time with them is easy, fun and will make the animals (and you!) happier. Fostering is simple too — if you have a spare room (for cats), and a lot of love to give, you can foster! Oftentimes, the rescue will provide the food, litter, etc. for you to care for your foster. So basically, you’re just providing them a comfortable, warm and loving place to crash until they’re adopted into their forever families.

At this point, I would like to reach out to city officials, business owners, schools and all residents of Franklin County to ask for your help. If you can open your heart, home or business to an animal in need, whether as an adopted rescue or as a foster, you will be giving them a fighting chance. With each one of us doing a small part to help our animals, we can create a no-kill county. We can become a success story too.

There are many wonderful stories of change coming out of the East and West coasts, so let’s begin a Midwest movement and make our animals’ welfare a priority, while giving them a powerful voice, because they live here too.

Since this is now almost 2018, I will be on social media using the hashtags #TheyLiveHereToo and #MidwestMovement.

Their lives depend on us, and every day counts.

Thank you, lifesavers!