Laurie Kinzler and Jacqueline Hale delivered their last Christmas gifts Jan. 11 at Spa Toe Pia to Director Mike Grice and Ron Butts of Cass County Animal Control.

Pet products pile up

Published 8:42pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas rained like cats and dogs twice at Cass County Animal Control thanks to two Dowagiac businesswomen.
Jacqueline Hale’s Spa Toe Pia nail salon off M-51 South and Laurie Kinzler of Laurie Anne’s and Tipsy Gypsy downtown collaborated on donations, presenting hundreds of pounds of dog and cat food purchased from Sandy Acres and treats, cat litter, bleach and blankets Wednesday afternoon to Director Mike Grice and Ron Butts of Animal Control.
As an incentive to about 20 donors, they drew for $50 gift cards that will be awarded to Patti Whitcomb of Hope’s Door and Lisa Green.
Kinzler and Hale are also working with the shelter to transfer Pet of the Week to the airwaves. WGTO radio’s Bob Robert will promote pets Tuesday morning at 8:30 in a spot that debuted Tuesday.
Hale’s daughter, Vendela, wants to be a veterinarian. Their visit to the shelter happened to coincide with the Dec. 3 Christmas for the Animals open house fundraiser. One of her clients gave the shelter 600 pounds of dog food that day.
On death row they encountered Jack (formerly known as Bear), who now happily hangs out in her lap as she strokes his fur.
“That was Saturday and it upset me all weekend,” so she came to the Jack Russell terrier’s rescue on Monday. “We intended to find him a home, but he’s fabulous. He comes to work with me every day and he’s so precious. This is the first animal we’ve rescued and I’ll never buy another again.”
That’s “great news” to Grice, whose office, thanks to the internet, placed pets from Seattle to Boston and even across the border in Canada.
Kinzler pets Toto, a ringer for Judy Garland’s “Wizard of Oz” co-star.
“Every other dog I’ve ever had has come from the shelter,” but Kinzler found her cooped up in a hot pen at a flea market. “I’ve always had big dogs and I said I would never pay for a dog, get a little dog or a puppy. Until I saw her little face.”
“We handle more cats” than dogs — as many as 2,500 animals annually —  Grice estimated. “Most of the time, the county doesn’t have to buy dog food because people donate year-round. County taxpayer money buys bleach and Kitty Litter. The community really comes through,” even truckloads from Decatur in Van Buren County.
Grice expects the open house about April for the addition under construction at the campus with the Sheriff’s Office, Cass District Library, Department of Human Services and Law and Courts Building.

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