Dear Editor:

Thank you for running the article on Carbon County Friends of Animals and the national shelter challenge. CCFOA remains in fourth place and as of today has 4.26 percent of the state votes. That is the highest percentage of votes since this quarter's challenge was launched. This is quite impressive! CCFOA needs to gain at least 22 percent of the state votes to win any one of the grants.

Whatever publicity you or your newspaper can provide this shelter to increase their votes for the challenge, acquire more volunteers and stimulate more adoptions would greatly reduce the hardships CCFOA faces, improve the quality of life, and stop the suffering of so many innocent animals.

On my first visit to CCFOA I met Fire and Kira, siblings who have been at the shelter since they were kittens, nearly three years. Imagine living your life in a 24-inch cage, never seeing a bird fly or napping on a sunny windowsill. This was nothing less than heartbreakingly sad! Through divine intervention or a miracle, both Fire and Kira found patient and caring families.

Education and awareness of the plight of these and many animals not only in Carbon County but throughout the U.S. is surprisingly scant. Horrific tragedies against animals are increasing at an alarming rate. Black cats and dogs are the first to be euthanized, seniors are next.

In the City of Philadelphia last year 38,000 cats were euthanized. The impact of spay and neuter and trap and release programs would end such suffering by the hundreds of thousands across the U.S. With the continued help of our community, we can make a difference in the lives of many animals by reducing the unwanted cat population without killing and to stop the suffering of the thousands of abandoned, homeless cats.

Below you will find a link to a 3.45 minute poem and slideshow created by Gina DeNofa, written for Forgotten Cats in Delaware. This poem is beautifully written and embraces the mission of every shelter competing in this national challenge. http://fc.karmafur.com/dirtyoldstray.wmv [1]

Forgotten Cats holds first place in Delaware in the shelter challenge with a whopping 49.89 percent of the state votes! A clear demonstration of where there is unity, there is strength!

Please continue to network on CCFOA's behalf. The $1,000 weekly grant money would allow us to purchase a few of the tiered cages.

Again, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help and support the needs of these abandoned animals.

Phyllis Sodroski

Jamison, Pa.

Editor's note: To vote for CCFOA in the national shelter challenge, go to http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/shelterchallenge [2]. Once there, search for "Carbon County Friends of Animals" in the search box and then click "Vote." You will then have to follow the directions on the next page to confirm your vote.