Kids donate lemonade money to animal shelter

May 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A fire that burned a Berkeley animal shelter and killed more than a dozen cats last week has touched so many people that even children are donating money.

Life goes on at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society where just a few yards away, 15 cats died of smoke inhalation, as flames burned the walls around them.

"Some kids came and just gave us their allowance dollars," said animal trainer Nancy Frensley.

People of all ages are dropping off donations, including two kids who left a letter explaining how they raised $10 selling cupcakes and lemonade.

Billie and Sofia wrote in their letter: "We are very sad about the fire in the shelter and hope you can make it through the sadness."

"It tears you up is what it does. You just tear up because it's so beautiful," said Frensley.

The 14 dogs and 10 cats who survived are recovering in foster homes until they're healthy enough to be adopted. The worst off is a dog whose kennel was closest to the flames.

"She was coughing a lot. She had some vomiting, some diarrhea. So those are classic symptoms," said vet technician Tiffany Curd.

Meanwhile, The Humane Society -- which does not receive government money -- is busy trying to salvage what's left.

There was a lot of smoke damage and thousands of dollars in medical equipment and supplies had to be thrown away, even things that were sealed in plastic.

This facility serves as a safety net for local shelters when they become overcrowded. Last year, the East Bay Humane Society adopted out more 800 animals; most were spayed and neutered there.

"You can figure out exponentially how many kittens and puppies are going to be born as a result of us not being able to perform these surgeries," says vet technician Jane Townley.

The East Bay Humane Society isn't sure when it'll be back up and running. Until then, they say they need immediate help with monetary donations, volunteers, and foster homes for incoming animals.


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