Feeding Dogs, Feeding Souls
The new Lakewood UMC Pet Ministry began when Under the Bridge volunteer Rhonda Cox-Martinez noticed that several of the homeless people we serve each month had companion dogs as their "family."
Fast forward a few months, and the Pet Ministry is now an on-going separate ministry that treats and cares for these animals two or three times each week. In June and July alone, the ministry dispensed 500 pounds of dog food, provided rabies and other basic vaccinations for 14 dogs, provided flea and tick protection for 20-25 dogs, spayed/neutered 4 dogs, and hospitalized another dog for surgery to repair a broken jaw.
Alone on the streets, there might be only two living beings who give that homeless person unconditional love, and who will never abandon them: their dog, and Jesus Christ. The LUMC Pet Ministry does more than feed dogs. It feeds the soul of a homeless person. This ministry is in addition to our existing homeless ministries. No one goes without food so that animals can be fed -- no one, that is, except for those homeless people who share their limited food with the only true companion they may have.
Many ministries provide food, clothing and shelter for the homeless but few, if any, provide care of their animals. Most homeless shelters do not allow pets so these homeless people choose to remain on the street rather than give up their friends. The Pet Ministry helps fill this gap by providing everything necessary to keep a dog healthy. Please like our facebook page to learn more about our current work, and to help, contact Rhonda at (501) 240-3133.
Here is what the team needs right now:
(Items or donations can be mailed to the LUMC church office at 1922 Topf Road, North Little Rock AR 72116)
- Donations to help pay vet bills, buy medication, etc. You can write "pet ministry" on the memo line of your check to LUMC and put it in the donation plate, or use LUMC's online giving system, or see the donation boxes at Hollywood Feed or Tammy's Paw Spa.
- Food, treats, and small non-breakable food bowls
- Dog toys
- Harnesses, leashes, leads, crates (used items are GREAT -- harnesses are better than collars since the dogs are attached to their owners or an object 24x7, and can never run free)
- Zip lock baggies
- Donated meds
- Bug spray (the pets are overwhelmed with mosquitoes in the camps where they live.)
- Ant spray (the pets often have to lay in ant beds)
- Zero electrolyte replacement drinks (dogs often must drink their owner's electrolyte drinks which are full of sugar. The “zero” has no sugar.)
- Some type of portable cover/protection from the sun and rain.
- Battery-operated or rechargeable fans to cool the dogs while in tents/cages, along with D cell batteries for the fans.
- Drop off bins for collars/leashes/dog food etc. at LUMC.
- Help with the care of the animals 2 or 3 times a week at His Throne Ministries on West Markham.
- Contacting vets to see if they would be willing to participate in some way.
- Provide 1 to 2 days post-operative care after spade/neutering or other procedures.
- Provide transportation to and from vet appointments
- Veterinarians to provide sample meds (worms, flea prevention)
- Veterinarians to provide discounts (free is nice) for emergency care and/or spade/neutering services
- Veterinarians for our rabies clinics
- People to create and run fund-raising projects
And we want to thank those who have already supported this new ministry:
- Dr. Richard Allen
- Dr. Kim Miller
- Wags and Whiskers
- Tammy’s Paw Spa
- Hollywood Feed, JFK
- Oak Grove Pharmacy
- Arkansans for Animals (Operation SAVE)
- The Meat Shop in Gravel Ridge
- His Throne Ministries