One Hero Will Be Awarded Acadiana Hero Of The Year
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Acadiana's Local Hero for February 2014
Jeanie Casanova
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Hero Name: Jeanie Casanova

About our Acadiana Local Hero!

Why this finalist was deserving of Acadian's Local Hero.  
Jean became aware of the terrible conditions that animals lived in when brought to the St. Landry Parish Animal Shelter when she went to adopt a kitten at the end of 2013. The cramped, dirty, unhealthy conditions made the animals there sick and miserable, so they were then put down because they were not seen as good adoption candidates. She knew that visibility, donations, and volunteers could make a huge improvement on the quality of life and adoptability of these animals. She began Friends Underwriting Rescues (FUR), a not-for-profit 501(c)3-pending organization, and with the help of a few volunteers quickly began improving the lives of the animals in the St. Landry shelter and increasing the number of happy adoptions. As a result of Jean's relentless dedication and hard work, donations, volunteerism, and community education have increased and further FUR's mission to support the shelter and care for its animals, spread spay/neuter and humane education, and encourage adoption and fostering of rescued animals. Also as a result of Jean's efforts, FUR has been featured on the front page of several news stations, which further increases visibility and good results for Acadiana's animals. In a short period of time, the effects of Jean's organization are apparent in the happy faces of the animals she loves so much. Jean continues to hold community events bringing awareness to the significant effect that donations and volunteerism can have on the lives of local abandoned animals. Sometimes the comforts and love that are brought to these animals are in the last days that they know, as they are soon put down if not adopted. Jean also strives to bring the faces of these animals to public awareness in the hopes of becoming a no-kill shelter. Prior to beginning FUR, Jean sought abandoned and abused animals on the streets and took them into her own home either adopting them or loving them and bringing them back to health before having them adopted by an out-of-state no-kill shelter. Her mission now is much larger than even the great good that she was able to accomplish alone.

How Jeanie's efforts have made a difference in the community for the better.  
The lives of abandoned animals at the St. Landry Parish shelter have improved dramatically since the start of Jean's involvement. Almost daily, FUR volunteers spend time with and exercise shelter animals, clean cages, groom and photograph animals to increase adoption, and otherwise improve the shelter. Donations flow in through mail-ins, local drop-off points, and PayPal (through the website). Veterinary clinics/groomers, businesses, and individuals donate supplies (doghouses, food, blankets, leashes, toys, medicines, and more). Through the FUR Facebook page's adoption and fostering efforts, adoptions at the shelter have reached record levels. This week, the city of Opelousas began building a dog park.

How becoming Acadiana's Local Hero will further Jeanie's cause.  
Being recognized as a Acadiana Hero will help FUR - to be known by the community, recruit more volunteers and donors who give their time and resources to improve the lives of animals at the St. Landry Parish Animal Shelter. - Jeanie Casanova’s future goal of helping the shelter transition into a fully-functioning no-kill shelter.

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

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