By Andrew Kidd, The Oakland Press
We could all get by with a little help from a friend.
But sometimes, it’s man’s best friend that needs a little assistance.
That’s where Pam Porteous and the Animal Care Network come in. Thanks to them and a local Boy Scout, several Pontiac residents received just that for their furry companions
The Animal Care Network helps pet owners out with doghouses, straw, food, and financial assistance for spaying and neutering pets, including transportation to and from the veterinarian’s office. In this case, they had some help from a Clarkston Boy Scout.
Aaron Jordan, 16, built five large doghouses — part of a project to help him earn Eagle Scout rank — and donated them to the Animal Care Network for needy dogs in Pontiac.
Jordan built the shelters over the course of two months — a lot of effort, but worth it, he said.
“It’s been a long winter, it was cold,” he said. “January was the snowiest month and I’m thinking the dogs would most likely need it.”
Porteous, Animal Care Network manager, said that while the doghouses are meant as assistance for dogs in need, only those owners who spay, neuter and otherwise provide loving care to their companions were eligible to receive assistance.
“There’s a lot of dogs that are chained up in backyards that people are just breeding and not feeding them,” she said. “When the kids put all this effort into making these dog houses, we really want to pick some deserving people.”
With Jordan tagging along, Porteous braved Saturday’s snowy conditions to deliver three of the five doghouses to Pontiac residents.
Michelle McKinney, who lives off of Putnam Street, was one of those lucky recipients.
“My dogs don’t have to be cold any more,” she said of her three canine friends Mitch, Sharda and Maze. “They can be warm, comfortable and relaxed. They’re happy and I’m happy.”
“I thank God for them and I thank God for having them in my life,” she continued. “Without them I’d be struggling to get them a doghouse and food.”
Pam Martin, who lives on Emerson just off University, received two of the doghouses for her chocolate lab Lady and her pitbull mix Spartacus.
The dogs were understandably excited, she said — she typically keeps them inside during the harsh winter months since she equates them to being her children — but she felt grateful for the assistance the Animal Care Network provided.
“You don’t see many too many organizations that help out pets,” she said. “It’s a great program for people that can’t afford the dog food every week or a month. They did a great job on the doghouses and my dogs will enjoy them.”
McKinney said the donation has touched her heart to the extent that she’s willing to do what she can to return the kindness.
“Whatever I can do, I won’t mind doing it because they helped me and my dogs,” she said. “If I can help them in some type of way, I won’t mind.”
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