One deserving person each month will be chosen and earn the title of "Acadiana's Local Hero".
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Acadiana's Local Hero for June 2016 - Paula Alesi
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Hero Name: Paula Alesi

About our Acadiana Local Hero!

Why this finalist was deserving of Acadian's Local Hero.  
It all started with a box turtle named Bernard. He wasn’t anything special, just a box turtle that needed saving. Thankfully for Bernard though, he would cross paths with Paula Jo and his life would never be the same. This little girl had a passion for doing what was right by the animals, and that’s just what she did. From finding homes for the kittens the neighborhood cat had, to saving injured turtles from beneath the Terrytown bridge, Paula was always busy trying to help the animals. After finishing at USL in fine arts she married Tommy Alesi and settled in Acadiana. Paula is a very talented silversmith that made her living building beautiful custom design jewelry for many years. In the late nineties while still working full time, she co founded Wildcat Foundation (the first TNR group in Lafayette). In the beginning is was about trapping cats, and hauling them to clinics as far as New Orleans to get them fixed. When she wasn’t trapping, and hauling them down the interstate, she was negotiating lower prices with area vets for large numbers of cats to be fixed locally. As the numbers grew and more folks enlisted her help, she began writing grants to secure more money to help more people get more animals fixed. She was instrumental in bringing the Big Fix Rig to Lafayette that did low cost spay & neuter of area cats. Within Wildcat’s first decade, it mushroomed into SpayNation…the first low cost spay neuter clinic in our community Today not much has changed in the way Paula does business. She is the executive director of SpayNation and continues doing what she has done since she was a child. Doing what’s right by the animals is still her mode of operation. Providing our neighbors with low cost spay neuter services, Spaynation has fixed over 35,000 animals since opening. From helping the women at the Faith House to keep their pets while going thru troubles, or doing TNR for an aged woman to get her cats fixed and healthy, the lessons Bernard taught her about kindness and empathy for animals lives on in our community. She has a strong work ethic and deep love for animals that allows her to be our “superhero” ! Thankfully for us she married a native and did all these great things in our backyard😊Thanks Paula Jo Alesi…we appreciate you!

How Paula's efforts have made a difference in the community for the better.  
With 35K plus animals fixed in Acadiana and surrounding areas, that means less homeless animals, which means less animals killed at the Lafayette pound, which means our community has an opportunity to do the right thing, and they are! Hopefully in time our community can become no kill...it all starts with spay/neuter.

How becoming Acadiana's Local Hero will further Paula's cause.  
Rescue work can be overwhelming and even though Spaynation is a non profit, lots of folks don't realize that, and the work that goes into running a clinic and finding the monies to subsidize everything they offer. It's 60 hour work weeks and then some...it's good to be recognized for your community service...it can be very thankless at times...there is always room for encouragement! Hopefully more folks can see the great work and start giving to this very worthy cause.

Please share Paula's great work with all of your friends and donate to her organization by clicking on the links below.


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