As the president of the Columbia County Humane Society, Donna Evans is always looking for perfect homes for her foster animals and strong supporters to make the group's plans of a spay/neuter clinic become a reality.
Deborah Brooks, a clerk at Wally's Citgo in Evans, checks out a customer's goods. A donation jar sets on the counter to benefit the Columbia County Humane Society.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
In Walter "Wally" Tereshinski, she says, she has found a great fundraising partner.
"That man, he like, fell out of the sky," Evans said. "He is wonderful. He's a very strong supporter of the Humane Society and he loves animals. He's a good-hearted person. We couldn't be more blessed.''
Evans said she is excited because for the second year in a row Tereshinski, the owner of Wally's of Evans and Wally's of Hephzibah gas stations and convenience stores, will spend July raising funds for homeless pets.
Because of his love for animals, Tereshinski has agreed to donate 10 cents to the Humane Society for every gallon of gasoline sold in July at the Evans location at 4519 Cox Road.
"(Adoptable pets) give so much, yet demand so little in return," Tereshinski said. "I cannot focus on a bigger house or a newer car knowing every day 10 pets are being put to sleep in our county, pets that could have greatly enriched peoples' lives had they only stopped and taken notice of their hopeful, loving eyes."
Evans and Tereshinski, who also funds the weekly Pet Page in The Columbia County News-Times, mounted last year's inaugural event with the goal of raising $5,000, which they far exceeded. Evans said the Humane Society has big plans for the funds.
Evans said the Humane Society, which is a no-kill facility, plans to construct a low-cost spay/neuter clinic on 13.7 acres on Columbia Road. The land across from Grimaud Place subdivision was purchased in December 2001 with the intent to build a clinic, a dog park and permanent shelter.
Evans said she has been getting impatient during the past three years of fund raising that have raised $125,000. Evans said the Humane Society's initial fund-raising goal is $300,000, which would pay off the remaining $35,000 owed on the land and construct the clinic and dog park.
The long-term goal of $1.5 million will eventually fund the second phase of construction, which will include a permanent kennel facility and education rooms for tours and children's groups. Evans said whether the needed funds are raised or not, construction will begin on the building hopefully in the fall or winter.
"The animals need it now," Evans said. "We want it now because we see the need."
Evans said 3,300 animals are euthanized each year in Columbia County and that the number will continue to rise as the population does. There are 45 cats and 15 dogs for each person in the county, she said.
But Evans said her 10 rescued dogs, including Cocker spaniels, a Yorkshire terrier-Maltese mix and a Beagle mix, is how she got involved with the Humane Society to find homes for as many adoptable animals as possible.
"You saw all the good dogs and can't imagine that one that has been such a big part of your life being put down," Evans said.
Tereshinski said he believes the only way adoptable pets can be removed from "death row" is if Columbia County residents step up to help.
"We're hoping that people will go to (Wally's) and fill up and help the homeless animals in Columbia County," Evans said, adding that customers buying gas get a free Humane Society car decal to show their support.
Donations can be mailed to:
Columbia County Humane Society
P.O. Box 204771
Martinez, GA 30917
For more information, call 860-5020 or visit www.cchshumane.org
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