Sweet Salvation: Ohio Girls' Lemonade Stand Funds Feral Cat Care

 |  Oct 11th 2010  |   5 Contributions


From left, Lillie McCortney, MacKenzie Cavalier, Auguste Mills and Maddie Wagler work at a summer lemonade stand to raise money for feral cat spay and neuter services. Photo courtesy of Cindy Dauphin

Three middle-school girls saw a need and decided to make a difference for feral cats in their area.

Auguste Mills, 12, Lillie McCortney, 11, and Maddie Wagler, 13, organized a lemonade stand in their community and raised almost $134 -- enough to have 10 feral cats spayed and neutered, according to Cindy Dauphin, a volunteer with Pawsibilities The Humane Society of Greater Akron (HSGA).

Auguste's interest in helping the wild felines began two years ago, when she and her mother, Sheila Mills, began feeding feral cats at a local farm.

Auguste noticed how the [feral] cats didnt have medical care or food and are reproducing one litter after another. People dont understand the severity of the situation and how many kittens two cats can produce, said Dauphin.

Auguste, a seventh-grader at Lake Center Christian School in Hartville, decided she needed to do something to help local ferals. She told her friend, Lillie, a sixth-grader at Green Middle School, and her cousin Maddie, a home-schooled eighth-grader. In addition to lemonade, the girls made necklaces, bracelets and key chains to sell. Dauphin provided popcorn balls and cookies.

Auguste wanted to do more for the cats and she came up with the idea for the lemonade stand, said Mills. They love animals and wanted to help them.

The girls advertised their lemonade stand by walking through the neighborhood with two kittens, passing out flyers to local residents.

We expected to get about $20, and it was a huge success, said Mills. Many people also donated bags of cat food at the lemonade stand.

Even the UPS man and the mail lady stopped by, said Lillie.

The community always seems to rise to the occasion, and most people step up and help when they can, Dauphin said. People have a soft spot for animals and kids. The cats are all thriving thanks to the kindness of three special young girls.

And a few weeks ago, when Auguste and her mother were feeding the feral farm cats, they found a sick kitten in the driveway.

His face was all crusty and his eyes were oozing so badly and he had a rash on his arms, said Mills. We brought the kitten home and gave him a bottle every couple of hours. We werent sure he was going to make it, but he perked right up.

The kitten, now named Eli, is thriving. They rescued five other kittens, which have now been socialized and most have permanent homes, Mills said.

From left, Lillie McCortney and Auguste Mills hold Eli and Levi, two kittens that were rescued. Maddie Wagler is at right. Photo by Joyce Rainey Long

The kittens seem grateful, said Mills. They sit and purr even when they're sick. They are so happy to have a home.

Lillie adopted one of the kittens, which she named Zoe.

Dauphin and Mills set out humane traps for the cats and take them to One of A Kind Pet Rescue Spay & Neuter Clinic in Akron. One of A Kind offers low-cost spay and neuter services for feral cats, said Dauphin.

We should help animals, and [the proceeds from the lemonade stand] are going toward a good cause, said Auguste. You cant just leave the cats to die. You need to feed them and take care of them.

[Source: South Side Leader, Akron, Ohio]

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