We are heartened to report on today’s front page that the Animal Rescue League of Laurel will continue operations. Thanks to pleas from the ARL, published in this newspaper, the organization has received an outpouring of financial support and a wave of people wanting to volunteer.
For nearly four decades, the ARL has provided a valuable service to the people of Laurel with a small shelter and an army of dedicated volunteers. The group and the Leader-Call have on-again, off-again cooperated on a Pet of the Week and other endeavors.
But, mostly, the ARL sat in the shadows, especially of late when other animal rescue organizations sprouted up around the county. The pool of limited funds the ARL had counted on were being spread thinner. It’s much the same with the communi- cations business, where advertisers have multiple choices to get their message out.
The ARL also didn’t go on dramatic rescues with a mastery of the media, each horrific case a noble effort — but also the over-needed ringing of a cash register. In the often-thankless rescue business that relies so heavily on volunteer donations, publicity is at the top of the importance totem pole.
In well-publicized stories, the Leader-Call has become at odds with one of those organizations and many have taken that to mean the dedication this newspaper shows to animals has changed. Quite the contrary.
Our disagreement with that entire Lyon Ranch Road case is not that animals were in need, but the theatrics — publicity mania — that was thrown at the residents — a senior citizen war veteran and his wife. From the sheriff’s ridiculous overuse of limited resources, wearing his cowboy costume, to the on- board reporter and videographer from the Virginia rescue, this case was handled so wrong.
There are still quality organizations out there that continue to do this noble quest for all the right rea- sons. To those, we salute you. And now we will join you.
The Leader-Call is now an active partner with the Animal Rescue League. The employee-owned paper has already made a financial donation. Now it is your turn. For every new one-year subscription sold, the LL-C will donate $10 to the ARL. In addition, as Christmas shopping season nears, the LL-C will donate $1 from every “A Taste of Home Town” cookbook sold out of our office. (Trust us, there is not another gift in Jones County as worthy of being under the tree than those cookbooks.) We also will have a donation box in our office at 318 North Magnolia St. in downtown Laurel.
Join us in a commitment to help the Animal Rescue League thrive. Although no bright lights, the work done there in its limited space is amazing. We are thrilled to be involved with such a cause.