AMHERST – Animals from the L.A. Animal Shelter have touched the lives of so many people, just as those who adopt them change the lives of the animals they’ve adopted.
Some of these special cats and dogs are being featured in the shelter’s latest fundraising calendar, Look At Us Now.
“What we’ve done is taken former shelter cats and dogs and featured them in their new homes and in their new lives,” shelter president Terri McCormick said.
This is the third fundraising calendar for the shelter and builds on the success of Furbabies and Friends that showed shelter animals with Amherst and area personalities and Around the Town that featured the animals at local landmarks.
McCormick said the project is so fortunate to have board member Meagan Cormier from Gallery 8 showing her creative talents with the animals. Cormier took all the photographs, poured though countless digital images to find the right ones for each month of the calendar.
“Our first two calendars were very well received. It got to the point that so many people wanted their shelter animals featured in the calendar. It wasn’t very hard to find people,” Cormier said. “In fact, we could’ve done several calendars with all the interest.”
McCormick said people are proud to say they have adopted one or more cats and dogs from the shelter over the years and one of the animals featured in this year’s calendar was adopted as far back as 2009.
“It’s such a positive thing for the animals and those who adopt them,” McCormick said. “You look at these animals in their new environments and they’ve brought so much happiness to their owners. It’s a win-win because the animals are in loving situation and their owners enjoy the companionship that comes with having a dog or cat from the shelter.”
For example, McCormick said, one of the pets featured in the calendar was always present as his owner was going through her cancer battle.
“He was by her side almost every second of her cancer battle and he not only gave her strength when times were tough, but the companionship and unconditional love were so important,” McCormick said. “She told us she has never regretted the moment she adopted the dog.”
There is only one human in the calendar, while the remaining 11 animals are shown in their natural environments or doing something they love.
“One dog is shown at the beach on his own paddleboard while in another photo there’s a dog playing with a ball,” McCormick said.
Cormier said spending an hour or two with of the owners and their animals is very special because she got to learn a little bit about everyone’s story and the relationships that have developed between adopter and adoptee.
“It’s pretty amazing when you think how it started and where they’re at now,” Cormier said. “It’s really moving.”
The calendars are $20 each and can be purchased from Maritime Mosaic, the Amherst Veterinary Hospital, WAG Canine Centre, Park Your Paws and the L.A. Animal Shelter. The Bank of Nova Scotia will match sales for a month, something it has done the previous two years.
All the proceeds go to support the shelter, which is always looking for new ways to raise money to support its operations. The shelter gets some funding from Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland, but it’s no where near enough to cover things like medical bills, medication, food and other supplies.
The shelter is also making some very important repairs to its roof and needs stainless steel cages.