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Letter: Clarks Harbour animal advocate asks to peacefully retire


It is with much consideration and heartache that I announce I have decided to retire and leave the group "Animals in Need.”

I would like to thank all the people who supported us over the years and to say a huge thank you to the girls who helped me start the project of caring for abandoned and feral cats and to those who still continue to do the work for "Animals In Need."

Animals In Need will still operate and will need your support to continue. They can be found on Facebook and through people’s e-mails and with a new number.

I ask that I be allowed to quietly and peacefully retire from the service of caring for abandoned and feral cats as well as the cats that need help and that I not am called with projects and problems concerning abandoned or stray animals. My home is now a private residence and my phone is no longer a volunteer organization phone.

 In working with "Animals In Need" I forgot to take the time smell the roses and I neglected my family and home life that I forfeited by taking care of cats and animals. I always tried to do what we, as a group thought was best for the animals we helped. There were decisions that had to be made and they did not always suit the public who brought us the problem of a cat, kittens or colonies of cats or who wanted our help yet felt we were supposed to rectify the problem even if they misled us in whose cats they were. Things have been said and people   feel that I am supposed to do for the animals just because the problem exists. Occasionally a few people forgot that I was only a volunteer who let her house be used for food storage, getting the food and housing many sick and dying cats, as well as a few dogs.

The many phone calls out of the area I did of my own accord and out of pocket. Veterinarian runs as well as some medications I took care of out of pocket.

This over the years with many sleepless nights and worrying about the animals, mostly cats, has added up to too much time spent on something that at times was overwhelming.

I would not have changed a thing though because I love the cats and can see where they are often regarded as trash or not needed and most of all someone else's problem not yours.

Occasionally people could not see that I was a volunteer with a love for cats and animals in general. I had no binding obligation and was never paid a dollar for my work or volunteerism with these animals.

Every penny or dollar collected went towards the care of the animals and sometimes money from my own pocket was used toward spaying or neutering, medication and even special foods etc.

A few people could not see that I had no legal responsibility and their words and attitudes took a toll. Yes, I was a willing participant in the animal’s welfare. The dumping of cats on my door step and phone calls with much said to degrade me was meant to hurt and was something which was unnecessary and only added weight to my decision. 

Looking out my windows toward the back yard there is a place where I intend to plant a garden and have some roses and sit with my adopted cats, family and friends so that we will be able to smell the roses of life.

This is an exciting thought and one I hope becomes a reality. When sitting in my rose garden and smelling the roses   I will often think of the times spent with people, helping cats and recall each and every cat which I have unconditionally helped care for and loved.

 Thank you for all your help and kindness toward the animals.

 I can now think of spring and can almost smell the roses.


Minnie Atkinson

Clarks Harbour


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