by Caroline Golon
Inspired by her late grandparents’ love of animals, one teenager in Illinois is finding innovative ways to help her local cat rescue.
Sabrina Hoagland’s grandparents, Diann and Butch Hoagland, were passionate about giving back to the community and, like Sabrina, loved animals. Although Diann passed away in 2010 and Butch in 2014, they made a lasting impression on their granddaughter.
The 17-year-old began volunteering for The Forever Home Feline Ranch (FHFR) in Springfield, IL because she was interested in helping to make the world safe and more humane for all living creatures.
As Sabrina became more involved in volunteering, she quickly realized the amount of work the organization puts in to helping the animals in their care and she wanted to do more.
“I’ve very much enjoyed my time helping save the lives of those who cannot protect their own life,” Sabrina said. “Spending time volunteering for this shelter has been amazing. These people that I have worked beside spend many hours fostering and taking care of sick animals.”
First, she helped foster tiny three-week-old kittens, which is a round-the-clock commitment that she was happy to do. She learned a lot about what needed to be done to keep the little guys alive and healthy. And, she also learned the important lesson of how hard it can be to give up fosters! She ended up keeping those little kittens for her own.
Next she turned her attention to raising money. Last spring, Sabrina organized a 5K run/walk in the memory of her grandparents. Through the Diann and Butch Hoagland Memorial 5K Run/Walk, Sabrina raised a total of $2,460 for Forever Home Feline Ranch!
Due to her hard work, Forever Home nominated Sabrina for a Pawsitive Impact Kids Award through Crayons & Collars, a site dedicated to kids and animals. She won! In addition to some goodies for her own pets, Sabrina received a donation of 5,000 bowls of Halo pet food to go to the rescue of her choice, courtesy of Halo, Purely for Pets, Freekibble.com and Greatergood.org. Sabrina chose Forever Home Feline Ranch.
Sabrina is happy that her efforts are making an impact in her community. “I think my grandparents would be proud that I can continue helping animals even if they are not here,” she said.