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The story of a community’s generous compassion
Bill & Lilya Twitchell adopted Annie into their home on March 8, 1994. They observed that day as her “birthday,” the day her life started with them. But Annie’s life was full of twists and turns before she finally landed in her forever home. Her inspiring story is one of an entire community coming together to give their time, money and talents to help a homeless animal in need.
It was the early 1990s. The HAWS staff figured the stray black lab-cattle dog mix’s age to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 years old. But no one knew for sure, since no one knew who her owner had been. A woman and her children found the dog wandering along the roadside, and hoped to find her owner. Unfortunately, she was hit by a passing car and sustained serious injuries. Not knowing what to do, this compassionate lady named Maureen came to HAWS for help.
HAWS’ manager Mark Hess contacted local vet Dr. Coshun for the diagnosis; a broken pelvis that would require several surgeries and, eventually, a plate and two pins to fix. Dr. Coshun generously offered to reduce the fees for the dog’ care, and gave her the name Annie, after the red-headed orphan.
Meanwhile, Maureen still wanted to lend a hand. Along with some very dedicated co-workers at GE Medical, she took up a collection amounting to more than $1,000, which GE matched, and “Annie’s Fund” was born. As Annie’s plight became known throughout the community, more donations arrived at HAWS. This generosity led Annie’s Fund to what it is today: a means to assist the injured, homeless animals that arrive at HAWS needing care – and a second chance.
The Graetzels, a kind older couple, stepped forward to adopt Annie. Sadly, after a number of months they were forced to give her up when they entered an assisted living facility. Now an orphan of much gentler circumstances – and with some known history, Annie was again looking for a home. Enter the Twitchells.
Lilya recounted her feelings about Annie when they considered bringing her home. “At the time my husband and I both worked. We weren’t sure our situation would be the best for her.” Annie, you see, was spoiled in the sense that she liked to be around people. “She was very social. We needed to think about if we’d be right for her.” Their hearts won out and she was brought home.
Annie loved her life as a part of the Twitchell family, which also included a human brother and sister. Annie was always wonderful with children, very laid back and easy-going. And, Lilya believed Annie was blessed: she was never sick, though there was that turkey leg incident in 2005, causing the family to be ‘poop-inspectors’ for a time to make sure the bones passed properly. Up until her passing at 17, she was still as social as ever, part of the family comings and goings.
Annie’s story is unique, but unfortunately, not unusual. Each day, animals come to HAWS needing medical care, hope and shelter.
Annie’s Fund is there for them, generously sustained by donations from throughout our community.
YOUR gift can ensure HAWS is able to help all the “Annies” who look to us in the future.
Please donate TODAY!
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