Letter to the Editor: Dear Mr. Martin

Posted

Mr. Randy Martin
City Manager
115 West Ventura Avenue
Clewiston, FL 33440

Dear Mr. Martin:
My name is Lisa Ronan, and I would like to share my experience with you regarding Kathy Irey, who I have known for six years. My first contact with Kathy was in 2014. Back then, I had very little knowledge of the rescue community, or shelters or the need for volunteers, and the importance of sharing information. I was on Facebook searching through all the lost and found pages for my own lost cat. It was mid-2014 and somehow her post of a momma cat that had lost her kittens and was fostering a little one popped up, they were looking for a rescue or adopter for them. There was the dog who was so afraid, he would just pancake to the ground and wouldn’t move. Then there was Jet, aka “cemetery momma,” so afraid of people she couldn’t take them to her puppies. I remember following the posts, hoping and praying they would be found and they were. Fast-forward to two weeks ago when after two years of trying, Kathy was able to catch Waldo, aka “Two Year,” in order to get him the care he needed. There are so many stories of her kindness, caring and devotion to helping animals — the voiceless — that they could fill books.

After I started following her posts in 2014, I was absolutely in awe of everything she did for these animals. She works full-time as a teacher, which is no easy job. She spends the rest of her time volunteering, walking the dogs, getting them out to socialize, seeing which dogs get along with others to share the critical information rescues need to help get the dogs out the front door — cleaning, feeding, taking pictures and videos, getting the pictures and videos out online asking people to share, asking for help from rescues, transporting animals and so much more. I realized that these time-consuming activities make all the difference for these animals being “seen” and having a chance to find a forever home.

Kathy also does the same for the cats and kittens — all on her own time as a dedicated volunteer. The examples I have shared with you here are just the tip of the iceberg on the impact Kathy has made over the years, but I wanted to share some representative examples of her commitment to serving the community and in particular the animals of the Clewiston shelter. As we all know, this shelter is a small, off-the-beaten-path shelter at the base of Lake Okeechobee, which means there is little if any foot traffic or opportunity for these animals to be seen. This is why Kathy’s efforts have been critical to the success of the shelter in lowering the kill rate and successfully finding forever homes for these deserving animals.

Hundreds of us have shared posts, donated to the rescues who take these babies on, transported, fostered and adopted these babies, donated time, food and critical supplies to the shelter; all because of how much we were inspired by the tireless work of one woman — Kathy Irey. Because of her, thousands of animals have been saved.

I can’t imagine how many animals’ lives will be lost if Kathy is not personally investing all that time to post, network and bring visibility to these deserving animals. And because of the positive impact she has already made and will make in the future, I respectfully request that you reconsider reinstating her as a volunteer. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Respectfully,
Lisa Ronan

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