High school student looking to help cats, dogs this holiday season

Published 4:54 pm Monday, December 20, 2021

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By SASHA JOHNS | Community Columnist

The Best Friends of Shelby Humane Society, a group of local animal lovers who exist to raise funds to support the animal shelter, want to make sure that 350 animals have a very special holiday meal on Christmas Eve, and they are hoping you’ll help.

The volunteer organization is raising funds to provide a home-cooked meal for about 150 dogs and 200 cats. This idea was spearheaded last Christmas by a junior at Briarwood Christian School whose mom is one of the volunteers.

Dermi Cropp, as a leadership project for his National Honor Society application, managed to provide a home-cooked meal of chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and a roll last year for the animals in the care of the shelter with the help of The Best Friends.

This year, however, the number of animals that they want to feed has nearly doubled as animals that were initially adopted during the national quarantine are now, sadly,  being surrendered back to the humane society in record numbers.

The Best Friends of Shelby County group is asking supporters to donate $10 to sponsor each of the nearly 350 animals. This will provide for not only the food to be served on Christmas Eve by volunteers who will cook for the animals, but it will also ensure that each animal gets its own toy.

It will also help provide dogs with a blanket and cats with a scratch pad.

“Animals are the best therapists,” Cropp said. “They are always there for you and never ask for anything in return.”

He went on to say that he enjoyed spending Christmas Eve in this kind of service.

“Obviously, they don’t know what day it is,” he said. “But it felt good knowing last year that when I left, each animal had something to play with and a full belly.”

Peggy Cropp, Dermi’s mom, shared that Fetch Bakery has also donated doggy cupcakes for the dogs, and another donor is providing goats milk for the cats.

She also said how proud she is of her son.

“It’s amazing to watch your child orchestrate something like this,” she said. “I highly recommend encouraging your kid to step out like this. It’ll amaze you what they are capable of.”

Donations for this gift to animals waiting for their forever home can be made to @BestFriendsofShelbyHumane on Venmo. You can also text to donate by texting the word SHELBY to the number 26989. One hundred percent of the funds goes to cover this project and then to the Shelter.

Finally, the Best Friends of Shelby Humane want you to know that they are always looking for more friends. To learn more about joining, email bestfriends@sheblyhumane.org.