Often times, we see injustices and people or animals in need, and we’re not sure how to help. We know we want to make a difference, but it can be a daunting task to tackle. Jennifer Gallagher thought the same thing, and that’s when she founded Chick n’ Pups Canine Crusade.
Gallagher worked for three years as the director of the Bullock County Animal Shelter. She loved volunteering and helping animals in need. However, when she retired and thought her animal care days were behind her, she noticed that her own neighborhood needed her help.
“I was always just the volunteer,” explained Gallagher. “I would find the local rescue and I would volunteer time and money, and then I came here and there was no rescue in Bullock County so what do you do when there is no rescue and you want to help? You just create your own!” And that’s exactly what she set out to do.
It started when she noticed her neighbor’s dog was tangled in her chain leash in the yard, unable to reach her food and water bowls. With a storm coming in, the poor pup was clearly frightened and needed her own shelter. Gallagher couldn’t look away from an animal in need, and volunteered to help her neighbor out.
“First I got a dog house,” Gallagher said. “And then that lead to getting a better collar, and then getting the dog off the heavy chain, and then putting the dog on a lightweight cable instead.” From there, word of Gallagher’s kindness spread and she soon had neighbors reaching out to her for help with their animals. Understanding of the fact that situations change, and financial stability changes, Gallagher was more than happy to help.
“There’s a lot of animals that I cannot take into my personal possession, but I can improve their quality of life, and maybe educate their owners so that maybe eventually people don’t need me, they’ll just know to do the right thing on their own.”
Gallagher currently makes regular monthly visits to 18 to 20 dogs in her neighborhood, and in surrounding areas. She provides flea and tick medicine, nail clippings, food, shelter upgrades, and so much more. When Gallagher first started, she paid for all of the animal supplies out of her own pocket. Thankfully, when more and more neighbors came to her for help. she was to apply for a receive federal charity status. This not only helped legitimize Chick n’ Pups Canine Crusade, but allowed her to accept help from donors and volunteers.
“More donors and more volunteers means more dogs that we can help, and maybe help a few more cats,” Gallagher explained. During this cold season, her donations have included coats, shelter, and hay to keep the dog houses insulated. Additionally, through the help of the Alabama Animal Alliance, Gallagher has helped spay and neuter about 15 dogs this year alone. She is an incredible help to the animals in her community, and the owners take notice.
Kenneth Baynes and his four dogs lives in Bullock County, and they receive a great amount of help from Gallagher. “She actually helps the whole neighborhood,” said Bayned. “The dogs love her and she is a friend of the family. I don’t think anyone does this type of work. She loves doing what she is doing and she is great at it, and I am grateful to have her.”
Gallagher’s incredible work, as well as the money and time she’s poured into this project, has made an immeasurable impact in the lives of the animals and owners in her neighborhood. “We all have a responsibility to do what we can, where we can, to make a tiny little improvement in our world.” If you’d like to learn more about Chick ‘n Pups and see Gallagher’s great work, be sure to check out their Facebook page!
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