Edgeville Buzz

Feline & Canines Will Continue Near-Normal Operation As Its Head Fights Aggressive Illness

The dedication to save animals in need of rescue is a stressful business that is filled with much joy and pain. Felines & Canines‘ (6379 N Paulina) Executive Director Abby Smith has been a champion to the cause Saving thousands of cats and dogs since taking the helm at the no-kill, cage-less organization in 2002.

However, after suppling happy homes for thousands of animals and fighting for their proper treatment Smith has announced that she is undergoing a her own personal battle against an aggressive form of breast cancer. In a statement released yesterday it was learned that she has already started treatment which caused her temporary absence to undergo treatment.

Smith initially hesitated to share the personal news with everyone but ultimately decided that being transparent with the community was important. Though there is a reduction in scheduled transports, limited social media, and a slower response to messages,  it will be business as usual at Edgewater’s Felines & Canines (F&C).

“I’ve been torn on whether or not to share this information,” explained Smith. “But after some extensive conversations with the people closest to me, I realized that Felines & Canines is my life, my family, and I think those of you who care deeply about F&C deserve to know what’s happening.”

F&C, an organization that has been in existence since 1977, has seen incredible growth since Smith started the job almost 20 years ago. In the first 15 years under her leadership, the animal shelter thrived  and has increased the annual number of adoptions from 49 in 2002 to 1,300 in 2018.

Two years ago F&C opened The Hunter Stephenson Rescue Center in Northern Alabama, a high-volume shelter that is unique to the industry. Located in an area with an overabundance of unwanted adoptable animals, the center’s goal is to relocate them to areas of high demand. According to them, they are expected to reach 3,000 cat and dog rescues annually at that shelter alone.

F&C is also expected to open their third shelter in December, a new Puppy Rescue Center which they have been working hard to get built. Smith says that despite her current health situation, none of this will change.

“Truthfully, one of the biggest stressors for me is not battling this cancer, it’s ensuring that F&C stays as stable, productive, and secure as it always has been,” Smith added. “I will strive for as much “normalcy” as possible at F&C.”

Since COVID-19 hit, F&C has seen a big increase in animals that need care. If you would like to help, please consider donating directly to them by CLICKING HERE.

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