Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

CARLA CAMPBELL, A member of Phi Theta Kappa, Sullivan County Community College’s honor society for its best students, cuddles with Princess, a kitten in need of a home. Campbell only has a fish at home, and she was getting rather attached to the kitty at the Rock Hill SPCA, but she had to move on.

SPCA Benefits
From Area Students

By Jeanne Sager
ROCK HILL — December 16, 2003 – Christmas came early to the Sullivan County SPCA.
Bearing bags of cat food and dog toys, the elves of Sullivan County Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society arrived at the Rock Hill facility Friday afternoon to a cacophony of puppies and kitties showing their appreciation.
According to society Secretary Anna Puleo, the group began a campaign within the college in October to raise money and collect goodies for the non-profit shelter.
They asked Shelter Manager Tammy Fis for a list of the most needed items and displayed her wish list where everyone could see.
The result was almost record breaking. People showed up at donation sites with bags chock full of newspapers and toys, kitty litter and treats to lend a hand to the struggling shelter.
“This really takes the financial strain off,” Fis noted. “If we had to pay for all of this, we wouldn’t be able to pay for the oil we bought this week.
“We’re majorly financially strapped,” she continued. “Just after we filled the oil tanks, we ran out of propane, and it gets cold out there in the kennel.”
The goal of Phi Theta Kappa’s drive was to help within the Sullivan County community, Puleo said.
“We like to benefit our own community,” she explained. “And we put out those dog boxes, and they just kept getting filled.”
In the end, the honor students were able to drive two truckloads’ worth of supplies up Old Route 17 to the shelter Friday afternoon, bringing blankets to cold canines and treats to kitties looking for some love.
“I want to help so many more,” Puleo said, a sad look on her face as she cuddled with Oliver, a young beagle abandoned by his owner. “But you have to start somewhere.”
A dog owner herself, Puleo found it almost impossible to put Oliver back into a cage and walk away, comforting herself with Fis’ news that someone had seen his picture on the Internet and was thinking of coming in to adopt the young pup.
She hopes that drives for the shelter such as the one she took part in will help to educate the public about the need at the SPCA and other shelters. She hopes to be able to teach at least one person about neutering and spaying.
A suicide prevention counselor with Action Toward Independence in Monticello, Puleo knows about the importance of educating the public.
“It’s a prevention method,” she noted.
And with 41 dogs and puppies, 25 cats and kittens and seven puppies on the way, Fis needs someone to help her prevent abandonment and cruelty happening yet again to the animals that will likely end up in her care.

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