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Heartprint Collection: Kimberlee Brown & Donna Caraballo

by Kristin Waters |

Kimberlee and Donna are volunteers at Carroll County Animal Support in Carrollton, KY. They are among a team of heroes who are trying to get their rural dogs exposure and creating alternatives to the standard national practice of "euthanizing for space" paradigm. Through the hard work of committed volunteers, the CCAS team has been able to create relationships with greater Cincinnati rescue groups and be true advocates for homeless dogs in their community - all in the name of saving lives.

Kimberlee Brown's Heart Print Story: 

I was inspired to begin my adventure into rescue by the untimely death of my own beloved pet. I began as a foster when I helped a dog that had lost a leg. Watching him adapt to life as a "tri-pawd" was incredibly inspiring and proved that every dog was worth saving. I want to encourage others to experience what an amazing the journey it is to see a dog transform from basic love and kindness. I cannot even put it to words how it changed me, and I've now made it my foremost priority to save the lives of the discarded and unwanted dogs in my community. And all it took was just one foster experience to help me be an advocate for many more deserving souls.  

Donna Caraballo's Heart Print Story: 

One day while browsing FB, I came across a post for transport for a neglected pit bull who had spent his life in a wire cage and was going to be euthanized by his owners because of a growth on his back. A very special sanctuary stepped up to take him, but he needed transport. I thought to myself, Why not? Let's get this boy safe. While making arrangements I saw another post for two litters of puppies and their moms in a very rural, high kill shelter in Kentucky which was in the same town the transport exchange was taking place. After hours of cross posting and seeing requests I was able to contact a shelter volunteer, who by the way was on vacation, and managed to get the families out. Eight lives were saved that day. Deet (the little pit bull) did have inoperable cancer but spent his remaining days laying in the sun and being loved by everyone around him. That was the beginning of a long standing relationship with Tammie Crawford, the executive director of Carroll County Animal Support and the small group of volunteers of this fantastic group.

Without a doubt, fostering Laynie, who is a black lab found wandering in rural Kentucky with 3 puppies and had been picked up and taken to LMAS in Louisville, KY. Everyone was stepping up for the puppies, but no one wanted mom. A rescue stepped up but needed the whole family pulled. I had just lost my black lab who was 19 years old and I could hear her tell me... Go get her Mom. It's okay. Laynie was a scared, skinny, dirty little girl when I brought her home. I think she knew she was safe though because day by day, her personality came through and she would look at me and sigh with her big brown eyes and go to sleep at my feet. When she went to her forever home, I cried again for the loss of such a beautiful girl, but happy tears also knowing she was safe and would never be abandoned again.

Each and every animal I've helped transport or have just hugged and given a soft word at the shelter have all returned that gesture with paws wrapped around my neck and a soft lick on the face. Their little eyes light up and you can see the joy in their eyes at being held, touched and loved if only for a minute, or an hour or forever. There is no greater joy than helping these babies in need.  

Do you have a heartprint story to share? Click here to submit it.

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