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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Event in Chardon to benefit blind cats

The Animal Clinic of Chardon will partner with the nonprofit, all-volunteer “Abandoned Animal Welfare” cat rescue organization for a benefit from noon to 4 p.m. July 14 at the clinic, 656 Water St. in Chardon.

The benefit’s proceeds will help the Mentor-based AAW, which recently merged with the Cleveland-headquartered Save Our Strays, to pay for the extensive care of five rescued blind brother-and-sister cats.

The three males and two females were confined in cages for seven years (from the time they were kittens).

At the time of their rescue in February, their cages were filthy, the cats were malnourished and sick, and they had massive eye infections.

They had varying degrees of blindness as kittens, but the untreated infections resulted in the complete loss of vision for two of them, and the ability to only see shadows for the other three cats. None of the males had been neutered and only one of the females was spayed. The cats were infested with fleas, worms, and other parasites.

Ray, an orange tabby, was in the worst condition. Further examination revealed that he had an old spinal injury and a possible abdominal mass.  Unfortunately, Ray was also suffering from quickly progressing kidney failure. Despite all the efforts of AAW and ACOC, this affectionate feline succumbed to the years of neglect and poor living conditions and died May 25.

“We take comfort in knowing that Ray’s last few months were the best he ever had,” said AAW founder (and Save Our Strays board member) Barb Clark. “He experienced petting, comfort, and love.  It was obvious that Ray cherished all the love bestowed upon him.  He would often fall asleep in the arms of a volunteer, which was his favorite thing to do.”

The two surviving males are currently in the cageless AAW facility, and the two females are in a foster home. Stevie, one of the blind male cats, will be at the event for attendees to “meet and greet.”

Clark said the benefit will help pay for the sizeable expenses of veterinary care, food, etc. for the blind cats. A portion of the proceeds will also go to the “Angel Fund,” a program at ACOC that assists with veterinary bills for people who cannot afford them, or for animals in need without homes.

Gertie, a canine “senior citizen” who was found nearly frozen to death this past winter, is one of ACOC’s most recent beneficiaries of the Angel Fund.
She will also be at the event for a “meet and greet.”

Tickets for the benefit are $25 for adults 21 and older, and $15 for ages 20 and younger.

The fee will cover wood-fired pizza (baked on-site and donated by Wood Fire Catering & Baking owner Mark Paluckas), soft drinks, and other refreshments for all attendees, but drinks with alcohol are only included for the 21 and over age group. (I.D. will be required.)

Two Reebok bicycles (one designed for a man, and the other for a woman) will be raffled off, and are currently on display at ACOC.

Raffle tickets, which are $10 each or three for $25, can be purchased in advance at the clinic or during the fundraiser).

There will also be a “money tree” door prize at the event.

For more information or to purchase tickets (or to make a tax-deductible donation to help the blind cats and/or the Angel Fund), call Melissa at 440-759-9872, or email

Reservations and payments (or donations) can also be mailed to: Abandoned Animal Welfare, P.O. Box 1152, Mentor, OH 44060.

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