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  Look to shelters for that Christmas pet, Kiwanis hear
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–A love for animals has led to a lengthy effort to save abused animals and prevent unwanted animals through spaying and neutering.
“Friends of the Animals of Cedar Creek Lake” co-founders Ed and Sydney Busch told Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis members looking for pets as Christmas presents to seek out animals at shelters, such as those operated by the Humane Societies in Tool and Athens.
Rural residents are already familiar with the problems associated with stray animals, up to and including fatal attacks by packs of dogs, Ed Busch said.
Every shelter that takes in hundreds of unwanted animals a year must dispose of those animals through euthanasia – there’s never enough adoptive homes available outside of a large metropolitan area, he added.
He noted Sydney Busch began advocating improvements in animal shelters as a 12-year-old, and both of them became key members of the Dallas SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) office many years ago.
Ed served on the Dallas SPCA board, as vice president and served two terms as president before he and Sydney retired to the Cedar Creek Lake area.
“If you live on a rural road, you know every year there is a large number of puppies just dropped off,” he said.
Abandoned cats often turn feral – a return to the wild state – to survive, but many abandoned animals simply can’t survive without humans providing food and shelter, and either starve or face danger from real predators (coyotes, for example) or vehicles.
In 2000, a group headed by the Busches incorporated as the “Friends of the Animals” and began raising funds for the next two years.
It quickly became apparent that another shelter would not meet the needs of the area, Sydney said, so the group’s focus changed to establishing a spay/neuter clinic.
“We opened the clinic in July, 2002, without going into debt, and that’s very important,” Sydney said. “If you go into debt, you’ll never get out, and we lose money on every surgery we do.”
Garland veterinarian Dr. Glen Campbell does surgery each Tuesday by appointment only – call (903) 887-PETS for an appointment.
The “Friends” clinic charges a minimal fee, ranging from $25 for male cats to $65 for large-breed female dogs, and the group is continually raising funds to cover the clinic’s costs.
Since 2002, the Friends’ clinic and Dr. Campbell have performed more than 12,000 spay/neuter operations, preventing the birth of literally millions of unwanted pets.
“Within 10 years, a single male and female cat can produce over a million kittens,” Sydney pointed out.
The clinic’s efforts have reduced the number of stray animals in the area to the point that the local shelters have noticed a decline in the number of animals being turned in, Ed said.
“Animals turned into a shelter have to die – that’s the reality,” Ed said.
“Shelters are full of pure-bred animals,” Sydney added. “A lot of people do want to buy a specific breed of puppy, and puppy mills are rampant in this part of the country. They are truly houses of horror.”
Within the past few years, a number of widely publicized raids have been conducted on puppy mills in rural Kaufman and Van Zandt counties, but for every mill shut down, there are dozens more, she said.
Avoid purchasing puppies from someone set up in a store parking lot, because you have no assurance the animal is healthy or well-adjusted, Sydney Busch said.
In particular, she urged Kiwanis members to avoid purchasing pets at “Dog Monday,” located off State Highway 64, just east of downtown Canton, on First Monday Trade Days weekends.
“They are all puppy mill puppies,” she said. “Those who are not valuable enough are just dumped. Ask any Canton-area resident what happens after First Monday weekends.”
If you must seek out a breeder, she said, make certain you can meet with the breeder at their home and see the actual kennel conditions.
“If they won’t let you see the house, just walk away,” Sydney said. “A good breeder will handle the puppies and get them acclimated to humans. A puppy mill won’t care.”
If you want a new pet for Christmas, go to the closest local animal shelter first, they said.
“Don’t just look for a puppy or kitten,” Ed added. “Shelters are full of adult cats and older adult dogs.”
Every shelter needs supplies and volunteers – particularly volunteers, since there are always jobs that need doing, Sydney said.
“We have a needs list, and so do all the shelters,” she added. “When you’re at the grocery store, stick one or two extra items in your cart for them or us.”
Items the Friends clinic always needs include bleach, laundry detergent, paper towels and toilet paper. Those items can be dropped off at the clinic any Tuesday, or at the Bluebonnet Emporium in Gun Barrel City any day of the week.
During the past year, Ed Busch served on a citizens committee reviewing the need for an animal control ordinance in Henderson County.
He recalled the committee met numerous times to review ordinances from other counties and to seek public input on what the county needed in its ordinance.
“We weren’t looking for something super-aggressive or super-modern, but a more up-to-date ordinance,” he said.
While much of the county remains relatively rural, more and more subdivisions are opening up, and the area is becoming more urbanized, he said.
“I found that there wasn’t stomach enough to outlaw puppy mills in Henderson County,” he said, adding that was his single greatest disappointment in the new animal control ordinance.
State law has also been changed to protect animals, Ed pointed out.
“You can’t just put a dog on a chain next to a tree and call it shelter,” he said. “Now you can ticket these people.
“Just because you live in a rural area doesn’t give you the right to torture your kids or your animals,” he added.
Sydney said the clinic (located near the intersection of State Highways 198 and 334 in Gun Barrel City) would be hosting a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, to benefit a long-time “Friends” volunteer now hospitalized with acute leukemia.
For more information about adoption services, contact the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake at (903) 432-3422, the Humane Society of Henderson County at (903) 677-7387 or Stray Dog Inc. at (903) 479-3497.
 

‘Recycling’ subject at Colonial Dames
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Peggy Anderson, president Martin’s Hundred Chapter Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century, introduced Joanne Denton, a new member, Nov. 15 at their meeting held at the Tri-County Library in Mabank.
Installation was conducted by registrar Lana Filgo and chapter members welcomed Denton.
The chapter presented to the Rootseekers Genealogical Society a book titled “Texas Society of the National Society Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century History, 1939-2007,” compiled by Sandy Bassett and Carol Goeking. Grace Donovan accepted the book for the Rootseekers.
The program, “Recycling” was presented by member Nell Walker, who had a display of unusual items to demonstrate recycling.
There were quilts made from scraps of fabric in varied colors and designs, and old feed sacks for making children’s clothes.
Walker recalled wearing dresses made of feed sack material, sewn by her mother, as a little girl in the Depression days.
Nothing was wasted in those years. When something wore out, a new use was found for it. Window curtains and other household items were sewn from feed sacks.
The present day garage sales and the First Monday Flea Market are popular today because the public likes to find treasures by “recycling.”
Walker showed hats, flowers and jewelry passed down from many years ago. She commented on how the young people now would think their style of dressing is perfect and they would never wear what their grandmothers did as young girls.
Walker is also a member of the Sarah Maples Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and former regent.
Her display of items for the program were samples of her hobby of collecting attractive old clothing, mostly found in her mother’s and grandmother’s closets.
This society meets November, January, March and May at the Tri-County Library in Mabank.
If a woman is interested in visiting a meeting and has a lineal descendant who lived and served prior to 1701 in an original colony in America, she may contact vice president Nell Walker, at (903) 887-0628.

Beware of holiday scams
By Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

AUSTIN–With Texans across the state preparing holiday meals and shopping for gifts, a few con artists are dusting off old scams and looking for new victims.
Over the next few weeks, consumers should avoid five popular holiday scams – gift card scams, online shopping schemes, phony charities, credit repair scams and spam e-mail and other unsolicited offers.
Gift card scams. Scam artists often take advantage of gift cards by writing down or memorizing the serial numbers on the face of the card while the cards are still displayed in the store.
When an unsuspecting consumer purchases and activates the card, the scammer simply calls the card’s customer service number, verifies it is active, and uses the memorized serial number to make online purchases.
Sadly, it’s often days or weeks before the legitimate buyer learns that the card balance was drained by a thief.
To avoid scammers who drain gift card balances, consumers should ask a store clerk to provide them with a gift card from behind a counter or one that has not otherwise been accessible to the general public.
Some gift cards have additional security measures, such as scratch-off codes, so consumers should always verify that no one has tampered with a card or its packaging.
Online shopping schemes. Consumers should never respond to bulk e-mails that offer merchandise, travel deals or solicit charitable contributions.
Crooks often set up Web sites that look like they sell products or collect money for charities when, in fact, all they do is collect credit card numbers, take the money and run.
Consumers should always verify a Web site’s security status before placing an order.
Online shoppers also should consider using a credit card for online purchases.
Paying by credit card often provides an extra layer of protection, making it easier for consumers to dispute unauthorized charges or undelivered products.
Bogus charities. Charitable giving is commendable, but consumers should ask questions before donating to a telephone or door-to-door solicitor:
Does the solicitor have identification? How will contributions be used? Texans also should independently check what they are told about the organization and make sure their gifts will count.
To verify an organization’s legitimacy, donors can contact www.give.org.
This Web site is maintained by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to promote wise charitable giving. Consumers also should confirm the tax-exempt status of any organization before they reach for their wallets.
Credit repair scams. Online or in the classifieds, credit repair offers often guarantee consumers loans despite their poor credit ratings; all consumers have to do is pay an upfront “processing fee.”
These offers are invariably a form of advance fee fraud, so Texans should steer clear of them. Consumers who need extra money over the holidays should visit a local lender in person.
Unsolicited offers. The best way to guard against scams and swindles is simple: Never respond to unsolicited offers. Consumers should never respond to spam e-mails sent by strangers or unfamiliar companies.
Consumers should also be skeptical of unsolicited telephone offers.
Even if the caller claims to represent a trusted company or pitches an interesting offer, Texans should hang up and call the well-known company directly using a number that appears in the local telephone directory.
This simple precaution ensures that consumers are talking to an actual company representative.
Fraudulent offers also can arrive in the mail. As tempting as it sounds, consumers can rest assured they did not win the Spanish lottery, the Canadian lottery, or any other foreign lottery just in time for the holidays.
Texans should be extremely wary of cashier’s checks sent by people they do not know and should never provide their personal financial information to unfamiliar solicitors.
Con artists tend to spend money just as fast as they steal it, so money lost in these or similar scams is difficult to recover.
Prevention is a critical factor in stopping thieves in their tracks.
Points to remember
• Just hang up on unsolicited telephone offers.
• Avoid sweepstakes, lottery and other advance fee schemes.
• Approach a local lender if you need to secure a holiday loan – be wary of unsolicited credit repair offers.
• Ask questions before making a charitable contribution.
• Verify a Web site’s security before ordering merchandise online.
• Be a smart shopper when buying gift cards.
• To verify a charitable organization’s legitimacy, visit www.give.org.
 

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

We are five beautiful Heeler mix pups. We were brought here by animal control, so we have no history. We are sweet little pups starting out in a new world. We’ve been wormed and given our first shots. We are sweet babies looking for our new forever homes.

My name is Chloe. I am a beautiful female kitten. I was brought to the Shelter by my owners who were not able to keep me. I am a very playful kid looking for my new forever home.

My name is Rebel. I am a beautiful male Pit Bull mix pup. I am somewhere around four months old. I am a sweet and playful puppy. I am such a wonderful kid in need of a new wonderful home.

My name is Chris. I am a male Retriever mix pup. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am a very sweet young man with lots of energy. I have been given my first shots. I am a sweet kid looking for my home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at petfinder.com