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Animal rescue group marks anniversary
This little kitten is just one of several felines available for adoption through Animal Haven of Hope Society, Inc. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Despite a tumultuous economy, Animal Haven of Hope Society president Jean Ann Lingle said the organization has been able to stay afloat and save more than 150 stray and feral cats from Liberty County Animal Control and area veterinarians.
AHHS is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month and Lingle said it would not have been possible without support.
“We would like to thank all the dedicated people at the medical clinics and facilities that have helped us in our endeavor: Beatie Animal Clinic, Wolfe Animal Clinic, SNAC, Cedar Animal Hospital, Animal Hospital of Glennville and First Coast No More Homeless Pets. Without you, this would never have been accomplished,” Lingle wrote on the Courier’s blog site. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. As our little motto states, ‘Have a Heart, Save a Life.’ You helped us save many, many lives. Thank you.”
AHHS doesn’t have a shelter yet, but the group provides foster housing at Zoi’s Place, a private sanctuary in Long County.
Lingle said when they are able to fund their own shelter, AHHS plans to stay in Long County.
Cats will be their main focus. Lingle said her group works with many rescue organizations that concentrate on placing dogs in permanent homes, including New Beginnings Animal Rescue, Bryan County Animal Caregivers and Animal Rescue Foundation in Jesup.
“There are three other groups that are for helping dogs,” she said. “We don’t see any reason to start working with dogs. But when folks are looking for cats, these other organizations know they can refer folks to us.”
The president said she’d like the group to host at least one fundraiser each quarter in their second year of operation. Lingle also said she’s looking forward to working with current and new volunteers.
AHHS already hosted a Red Neck Polar Bear Plunge in January, sponsored by Sparky’s Family Style Entertainment and they’re planning a poker run and a fishing rodeo. A portion of the funds from these events will be allocated to other animal welfare groups in need.  
Lingle said she’s been overwhelmed by the community’s generosity. Some donors provide a $60 adoption fee so families who want pets can get them.
“They sponsor the adoption so the family gets the cat or kitten for free,” she said. “And that is pretty cool.”
Lingle said her volunteers are finishing their microchip training, so AHHS will soon provide the service.
With projects and goals in place, she hopes year two will go smoothly, although she was pleased with the group’s first year.
“It was a pretty good year considering,” she said. “It worked out pretty well.”
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