Stadalsky: Woman walks for a cause
By Kris Stadalsky firstname.lastname@example.org March 1, 2013 2:54PM
Sheldon is one of the hard-to-adopt dogs saved by the Cache Creek Animal Rescue in Anna. | Submitted photo
Updated: April 5, 2013 6:06AM
Meet Sheldon, a senior dog who was taken in by Cache Creek Animal Rescue. Sheldon would have been euthanized if the people at Cache Creek hadn’t taken him in.
Sheldon was discovered cowering in the back of a kennel at a humane society, housed with multiple huge barking dogs. He was curled in a ball, shaking in fear. He did not have a tooth in his head, said Cache Creek manager Kendra Linder. He was a ball of matted fur, full of cockleburs and goopy eyes.
“Someone just dumped him,” Linder said.
But in that little, matted ball of fur Linder and co-worker Donna Hawk saw more than just a mangy mutt, they saw a life that deserved a chance.
“He’s in a home now with a lot of years left in his life,” said Linder.
There are many stories like Sheldon’s that come from Cache Creek. The rescue saves 1,000 dogs every year. Some of them are easily adoptable — cute puppies, purebreds and small breeds. But many, many others wouldn’t even be considered by other shelters as adoptable.
Some of them come to Cache Creek sick, abused, even diseased — with many special needs. But they are cleaned up, nursed back to health and put up for adoption. Even a positive test for heartworm doesn’t mean the end of the line for dogs that come to Cache Creek. It can be treated, said Linder.
Most shelters won’t even consider taking in a dog with heartworm.
But Cache Creek is in big trouble. The shelter in Anna is going to close down if they can’t raise $100,000 to rebuild the facility that is nearly inhabitable and has flooded twice.
The last time was in 2011. At 9:30 at night the workers were pulling animals out of the buildings to keep them from drowning. That’s how much they love these animals and want to keep the rescue going.
Linder has taken it upon herself to walk the 300 miles from Anna to Shorewood to raise awareness and money to save Cache Creek. It’s called March for a Miracle.
“It’s a last act of desperation,” she said.
Shorewood PetCo is where 90 percent of their animals are adopted out. Two or three times a month they drive more than five hours to bring as many rescued dogs as they can to PetCo. It’s the same route that Linder is trying to walk.
She had hoped to walk 15 to 20 miles a day, but things have gotten tough. After a few days rest, Linder got back on the road again Friday.
Linder is not an athlete, she said. She has turned 40 since she started her walk on Feb. 11.
It’s a last-ditch effort to save the rescue and she’s trying to meet the challenge.
Others have joined in by logging their own miles and “donating” them to Linder. Waitresses at Country Cupboard in Anna are all wearing pedometers, a group of runners from Indiana, whom she has never met, donated their miles. Students from Ira Jones Middle School in Plainfield are walking to save the animals.
Linder plans to log at least 200 miles herself and her goal is to reach Shorewood PetCo on Sunday.
There is no big sponsor for the event so the dogs need everyone to help sponsor the walk; even a small donation will help reach the goal. Otherwise the rescue will either have to close its doors or stop helping the worst-case animals, which is what they are really about, Linder said.
“These animals are not trash just because they are older or have medical issues. They deserve homes,” Linder said. “It’s heartbreaking that if we don’t survive, 1,000 dogs (every year) are going to die that could have had homes.”
To learn more or donate, go to www.facebook.com/cache.creek.5 or the website at http://cachecreekanimalrescue.com/home.
Reach Kris Stadalsky at email@example.com.