Niagara Gazette —
Wingard is struggling to keep her little program going as it is almost out of funds. She’s hoping to hear about several grant opportunities but vows not to quit.
“A couple of hours of stress and sweating is really worth it if I can help others in need,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Niagara Falls, a couple has turned their efforts to saving pets from euthanization by owners who don’t have funds for medical care for their animals.
Linda and Gary Hepler got the idea for their non-profit Hope Before Heaven, when they were at the vet getting treatment for their dog.
“While we were there we saw a younger couple come in with a young dog with a broken leg. It had to be euthanized because the owners were in an emergency situation and they didn’t have the money to pay for medical care. It broke my heart,” Linda said.
Since then the couple became a state-certified non-profit and have been fundraising at several events, including the recent Niagara Falls Blues Festival. They plan to be at the Harvest Fest in Lewiston Sept. 28 and 29. Their efforts have already helped several pet owners get their pets the care they need to get well.
“Just this week alone we helped two cats and a dog,” Linda said.
Pet owners who need help can contact the couple, but there are forms to be filled out, including a diagnosis from a vet. The pair, who take no salary, are currently seeking a local corporation who might like to sponsor a portion of their efforts.
“It’s all volunteer,” Linda said, noting that the project gives meaning to the loss of their beloved sheltie, Aasha Sue. “This way we can, in the memory of our beautiful girl, give back to our community.”