Advocacy and pets

CN&R story leads to a helping hand; and a couple of editors go gaga for pets

As a journalist, I try to remain somewhat detached from the stories we print in our pages. This can be difficult at times—when the subject of a story needs help, for instance. That was the case with last week’s cover story, “Collateral damage,” in which Chicoan Kari Keith, ex-wife of kidnapper and rapist Lonnie Scott Keith, opened up about her marriage to a person she eventually learned was a monster.

I was hoping that by sharing her story here, someone in the community might step forward to offer pro-bono counseling services to Keith and her children, who are struggling financially and cannot afford private therapy. That happened this week. A reader who’s a psychologist asked me to pass on her contact info to Keith. It made me proud to live in a community where generosity is displayed regularly and to work in a profession where storytelling leads to advocacy.

It also shows the power of print media. The help came as a direct result of that CN&R piece, the good work of author Debra Lucero.

Speaking of advocacy, if you’ve read this column over the last year and a half, you know that I’m an animal lover. I’ve written a little bit about being a horsewoman and also about my late beloved German shepherd. I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned growing up with cats and parakeets, or that I had a pet snake and lizards at one point.

In any case, I want to note that a couple of my animal-loving colleagues, Associate Editor Meredith Graham and News Editor Tom Gascoyne, are lending their bodies to the Butte Humane Society for its annual Bidwell Bark Fun Run & Festival, which takes place at, you guessed it, One-Mile at Bidwell Park. Graham and Gascoyne will be sitting above the dunk tank this Saturday (Sept. 27), awaiting your money and throwing arm, at 10:40 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.

The event—which features a couple of foot races, along with raffles, costume contests and other activities—is the local humane society’s main fundraiser of the year. It runs from 8 a.m. to noon. BHS works hard to help place unwanted pets into loving homes. It’s a wonderful organization that’s worthy of the community’s support.

My husband and I adopted a little scruffy ball of fur—a bichon frisé—a couple of years ago from BHS. Lucy, who came with another name, arrived as a stray. She’d been microchipped at some point, but the folks listed as her family never picked her up. Their loss. Look at this face.