Just One Candle

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President of the CCA Board of Directors Susan Lyerly shares a blog post about how she became involved with CCA and what being a part of our team means to her.

It’s hard to believe that lighting just one candle in August of 1994 led to my involvement with CCA. There was a Candlelight Vigil held in what is now Falls Park that was sponsored by CCA for all the stray cats and dogs that NEVER found their loving home. As I lit my candle, I decided to learn more about CCA and become a volunteer. 

One visit to the shelter led to becoming more than just a Sunday volunteer. I ended up volunteering to be part of the Board (these positions are volunteer), and I have been active in every part of CCA over the years, including  volunteer coordination, adoptions team, spay/neuter program, visiting nursing homes or schools with one of the shelter dogs to promote humane education, assisting in a TNR venture, and even being a caretaker for the CCA cats and dogs when the resident caretaker was on vacation for one or two weeks at a time. 

My house has been the home for many of the cats and dogs that have been temporary shelter residents.  Three or four of them were older or had terminal illnesses, so I wanted to give them a home before they crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

CCA strives to help with the ever increasing needs of the community through the programs we offer.  To meet these needs, we always welcome and need dedicated volunteers! Some days are more difficult than others as we shed tears over a puppy that didn’t make it or a dog that needed so much medical attention we weren’t sure if it would make it through the treatments. However, the tears of joy shed when a cat or dog is placed in a loving home make it all worthwhile. 

I may have lit that candle so many years ago, but that small flame still burns brightly. Consider lighting a candle of your own and join me in helping the animals. They are God’s creature too, and they need our help!

Hugo - a now adopted former CCA puppy - enjoying the cat bed during a visit to Susan’s house

Hugo - a now adopted former CCA puppy - enjoying the cat bed during a visit to Susan’s house

Featured (Soon-to-Be) Adoptable: Dixon

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Please say hello to Dixon!

Dixon is a four-month old Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, with some of the softest fur we’ve ever felt. He loves all people and so badly wants to play with a friend! He loves treats and knows exactly how to wow you with his puppy dog eyes! At the shelter when you walk up to him, he will almost always lay down on his back to get some belly rubs!

DIxon is currently under the weather thanks to worms and is not quite ready for adoption until the vet clears his health. However, we suspect he will be ready to meet his furever family soon! If you’re interested, you can fill out an application here.

You can also learn about our adoption process and see all of our available dogs and cats here.

Meet Our Team: Lauren Frantz

Lauren is the on-site caretaker for the animals at our Simpsonville shelter. We asked her to share her story about how she came to be a part of our team and what it’s like to take care of so many animals each day. Thank you, Lauren, for sharing your journey!

Lauren and Rufio

Lauren and Rufio

Three and a half years ago, I came across a job posting for the position of animal caretaker at CCA. Having graduated from Clemson in 2012 with a degree in wildlife biology, I’d been searching for a job in the field for the past several years, only to discover that the vast majority of the positions I was suited for were seasonal in nature. While I enjoyed the temporary work I found in the interim at various sanctuaries, I was ready for something more stable and long-term when I noticed CCA’s advertisement. I have always had a passion for helping animals—both wild and domestic—and thought the job would be a good fit for me. Thankfully, the board agreed!

In the time that I’ve worked for CCA, I have learned that shelter workers often encounter the very best and worst of humanity. One of the most difficult things for me is witnessing firsthand the effects of neglect and abuse—animals that cower in the corner, snarling and snapping in fear or dying a slow death from an infestation of heartworms which we may or may not have caught in time. But of course, the flip side—the thing that makes me feel like I’m really making a difference in the world—is watching these animals, who often come in sick and terrified, heal physically and emotionally from their past and go on to bring great joy to the families that adopt them. I love getting updates on our “alumni” and seeing them periodically at events like “Bark in the Park.” There are few things in life more rewarding for me than knowing that I played an integral part in an animal’s happily ever after.

Of course, the greatest privilege is actually getting to BE at least one former resident’s happily ever after. While I consider all of the dogs and cats who come through CCA my “fur-children”—especially the ones I’ve helped deliver and/or bottlefeed—I generally try not to get TOO attached to any particular individual, knowing that most of them will only be with us for a short time before going to a new home. Sometimes, though, we don’t choose the animals who will become a part of our family; they choose US, and about a year into my job at CCA, that happened to me. Though I hadn’t planned on adding a dog to my family at the time, Rufio—the feisty little pit mix puppy who was determined to make me work for his affection—eventually won me over.

I never thought the frightened, sickly little pup who would barely let me touch him in the beginning would become my best friend and snuggle buddy, but two years later, I can say with confidence that welcoming him into my home was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I feel incredibly blessed to be his “forever mom.”

Working with CCA has been an amazing journey for me so far. Though we’re a small organization, we have a tight-knit group of volunteers and staff with big hearts for animals of all ages, sizes, breeds, and backgrounds that come through our doors, and I hope to be able to help continue this mission as a part of the team for several years to come. 

Event Recap: Hands on Greenville 2019

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The Ogletree team of volunteers

The Ogletree team of volunteers

The 25th annual Hands on Greenville Day was held on Saturday (May 4) and CCA was honored to be among the organizations supported by our local community.

Moving the play yard

Moving the play yard

Ten volunteers from Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. joined several CCA volunteers for a morning of service focused on outdoor landscaping and updates that would make the environment safer and cleaner for our animals and volunteers.

Together the nearly 20 volunteers tackled several outdoor projects:

Landscaping clean up

Landscaping clean up

The new parking pad

The new parking pad

  • They moved the outdoor play yard to a different location with significantly more shade, giving our pups a safer and cooler place to romp together.

  • They cleaned out all of the igloos (dog houses) in each of the outdoor pens and added new cedar chips, giving our dogs a fresh and clean place to rest.

  • They also made several improvements to the landscape, including laying a truckload of crush and rocks to make a parking pad for the shelter van, cleaning out/mulching the flower beds, and blowing away the fallen leaves.

“We are thankful for all of the volunteers’ efforts during HOG Day,” said Adoptions Director Renee Franklin. “The projects completed today have not only improved our shelter environment, they have also freed up valuable time for our weekly volunteers to focus on the animals in our care.”

After the work was completed, the volunteers made some time to love on some of the animals.

Thank you to everyone who came out for your help!

One of our pups saying “thank you” to the volunteers

One of our pups saying “thank you” to the volunteers

Now Available: Spring 2019 Paw Prints

We're pleased to share that the Spring 2019 edition of our Paw Prints newsletter is now available for download.

This edition features a look back at our 2018 accomplishments, features on several of our adoptables and some of our recent adoption success stories. There is also more information about fostering as well as a list of the quarter's memorials and donors.

You can download the newsletter here and view previous editions here.

Featured Adoptable: Maverick

Meet Maverick! He is a 1.5-2 year old yellow lab mix who came to our shelter after he lost his way and no one ever came for him. We are happy to be his home until he finds his forever family!

Maverick is good on a leash for the most part, but is still learning not to pull. We are working with him on basic commands, but he would benefit from training when he goes to his new home. We know he will learn quickly. He also knows the words sit and paw.

Maverick the perfect dog to take boating, hiking and on car rides, but he would also be happy just hanging out and being your best friend. Maverick isn’t a dog that will lick you. He will just stay by your side through thick and thin!

He is up to date on shots, neutered, and micro-chipped. You can learn more about Maverick here and you can learn about our adoption process here.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Brenda Penland

A member of the CCA team for nearly a year and a half, Brenda Penland is one of our most dedicated volunteers who helps at both the shelter and special events. She recently began supporting the social media team as well.

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What led you to CCA and how did you get involved?

I found out about CCA when I looked on Google to find an animal shelter near my house. Of course I knew about Greenville County Animal Care, but I wanted to find a no-kill shelter or rescue to work with, and through CCA, I found both! After my first day of volunteering I felt like I belonged. Like it was family! So of course that encouraged me to come back. And it's a great thing for me and my daughter Brianna to do together!  We have been volunteering for almost a year and a half now.

What is your role at CCA and how do you contribute?

I am a very active volunteer, which means that I do a lot of things. I walk dogs and support adoption events on the weekends. During the week, I go and help the caretaker feed the animals, clean, do laundry, and pretty much anything else that's needed.  I even cut the grass (I don't even do that home!).  I show dogs to potential adopters.  When weather permits, I like to take the dogs on day trips with my children to Cedar Falls Park!  It makes me so proud to be a CCA Volunteer.

It brings me great joy to tell people about CCA! Just in the brief time I have been a volunteer, we have helped so many cats and dogs. We have found wonderful homes and know they are being loved instead of on the streets suffering! I am super proud to say I work with CCA. It's like I was always meant to be here!

What is a highlight from your time at CCA?

My favorite moment is, honestly, every time an animal gets a furever home! It so great to see adopters be so happy to get to take home one of our fur babies! I love seeing updates of them in their new homes and seeing them so spoiled! It is hard when they go, and I can say you definitely get attached to some. It is heartbreaking to see them go. But you know it’s great for them, and it's all worth it when you get those happy updates.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering with CCA?

I would encourage others to volunteer!  I promise that you will get way more out of it then you could even imagine, including unconditional love and endless kisses! You get the joy of knowing you helped, too. Like, when a dog comes in scared and sad. You spend some time working with them and then you get to see their transformation. There's no better feeling! I am very proud to be a volunteer with such a great organization!

I have always wanted to work with animals. When I was a child, I would rescue the neighborhood cats and find homes for their kittens. As a child, I did the most I could for all animals. I used to feed my lunch to a stray dog that hung around my school. I named her Dandelion and made her a collar of dandelions.  I am so thankful to CCA for allowing me to be a part of their wonderful mission and basically live out my dream!!

Event Recap: Paws for a Cause 2019

Success Story! Louis met his new family at the event. Here he is getting to know his new human siblings

Success Story! Louis met his new family at the event. Here he is getting to know his new human siblings

The second annual Paws for a Cause event, held on April 13 and sponsored by Koinophobic Boutique, was a success last weekend.

Local area businesses came together to raise money for CCA through a fun-filled day of pet and family friendly fun. Entertainment included animal games, contests (biggest dog, smallest dog, cutest pet, most talented, etc.), bounce house, face painting, caricature artist, food trucks and shopping.

At the CCA tent, visitors had an opportunity to learn more about our organization and our spay/neuter program as well as an “adopt a pet” game for children where they could win a stuffed animal prize.

Most importantly, four of our puppies – Jewel, Savannah, Louis and Jackson – as well as three of our adult dogs – Nitro, Carrie and Luna – were at the event, meeting the community and looking for their forever homes!

“Pause for a Cause was a well-organized and fun event for everyone. I loved seeing all the dogs and was so happy that Louie found his forever home that day. Thanks to everyone who sponsored and supported Paws for a Cause!” said Susan Lyerly, President CCA Board of Directors.

The event boasted 34 different vendors and more than 300 visitors over the course of the afternoon. Together, more than $2,000 was raised to help CCA’s mission in the Upstate. We are hoping this awesome event will become a Spring tradition!

Thank you to everyone who came out!

Some of our volunteers and adoptable pups! Photo Credit: LJ Clifford Photography

Some of our volunteers and adoptable pups!
Photo Credit: LJ Clifford Photography

Some of our volunteers and adoptable pups! Photo Credit: LJ Clifford Photography

Some of our volunteers and adoptable pups!
Photo Credit: LJ Clifford Photography

Featured Adoptable: Tommy

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This handsome boy is Tommy. He is an adult male domestic short hair who is up to date on shots, neutered, micro-chipped, and litter box trained!

Tommy tends to enjoy the finer things in life which would be soft, wet food.

He came in with his brother, but they don’t seem to be bonded. However, if you want two cats, we are sure they wouldn’t be upset to find a home together! Tommy loves the company of people and other cats.

Interested? You can learn more about Tommy here and you can learn about our adoption process here.

Featured Adoptable: Prada

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This beautiful girl is Prada. She is a pittie mix who is around two years old. She is short, stocky and ready to find her forever home!

Prada does well with other dogs and loves to play! Her perfect home would be either with a family where she would join another dog that is ok with a little roughhousing or where she would be an only girl who would be spoiled like crazy!

She is up to date on shots, spayed, and micro-chipped. She does well on a leash and is a lot of fun when you meet her!

Interested? We know you are! You can learn more about Prada here and you can learn about our adoption process here.

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