Saturday, July 12, 2008
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Kids, community bail pooch out of pound

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[July 12, 2008]  Perhaps no story tells the love kids can have for their dog more than this one. Perhaps no story tells the goodness and kindness of heart of this community's citizens more than this tail, I mean tale.

DonutsA neighborhood dog made an error in judgment that almost cost him his freedom. It seems that Scruffy, a 1 1/2-year-old Shih Tzu, wanted to see a bit of the outside world. He dug a hole under the backyard fence and began a trip around the neighborhood to see what the rest of the town was like.

Scruffy ended up at the nearby CEFCU on Fifth Street. It isn't known if the dog came there to open an account or just to come in out of the heat. The dog -- owned by Tracy Alba and her two children, Fabiola, age 13, and Tatiana, age 8 -- didn't have tags, so the credit union called the pound to come and get the dog before he was run over by the heavy street traffic.


Tracy, a nurse at The Christian Village, was at work while all this happened, and it was her daughter Fabiola who called the pound on the chance Scruffy had been busted. The good news was that they had the little dog and he was safe. The bad news told to Tracy was that the pound required $160 to bail Scruffy out of jail.

Tracy is a working single mom, and $160 is a great deal of money to her and her family. That didn't deter her two daughters or their friends Brandon Fry, Brandon Smith and Lindsey Turner from working on a plan to free their furry friend.

The children decided to set up a lemonade stand by CEFCU with a sign saying, "Please help get our dog out of the pound."

Now Tracy admired the children's efforts, but she didn't think a lemonade stand would put much of a dent in the looming bill that was facing her and her kids. What she didn't take into account is the kindness of the people in this community.


Three hours after the youngsters opened their stand, they came home with a small bag of change. Tracy's quick estimate was that they had collected about $3, and that wasn't near enough to make bail for Scruffy. Then the children handed her the roll of bills they also had collected, and Tracy was stunned.

In all, the kids had collected $95.82 selling lemonade in just three hours.

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The generosity of people trying to help these children get their dog back was nothing short of amazing to Tracy. "Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected this to happen," she said. "I don't know if I ever saw that type of kindness before. Things are tight right now, what with the price of gas and everything going up right now. One woman gave $23 for three glasses of lemonade." Others just stopped by the stand and gave the kids money to help get Scruffy back.

The good news is the pound decided that since Scruffy did have all his shots, the proper charges would actually be $85. Scruffy was released to the family.

But the story isn't over yet. The kids had $10 left over, but they aren't spending the money on candy or retiring from the lemonade business just yet.

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The five youngsters have decided to continue the lemonade stand from time to time and use the money they collect to help the Humane Society of Logan County help other animals who aren't as fortunate as Scruffy.

Scruffy is home now. Back with the family that just couldn't give up on him. He is a fortunate dog. He has the love of a family and the neighborhood kids, and he lives in a town full of people who have as big a heart for unconditional caring as he has.

It makes you want to wag your tail, doesn't it?


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