By Patti Findley

Vice President of PALS board


It’s holiday time and truly the season of giving. Proud Animal Lovers Shelter is humbled and honored by the great outpouring of donations for us at Giving Tuesday. A heartfelt thank you goes to all who contributed. We continually strive to give you reason to be proud of your local no-kill shelter.

As of Nov. 29, we took in 13 dogs and adopted out 15 during the month. One cat was taken in and two were adopted. We have 30 dogs and 11 cats waiting for their forever homes.

Our PALS Person of the Month is Linda Semrad. Linda was one of the original board members of PALS, serving as secretary and eventually as president. She retired from the board in 2017, but continues to be quite active. She is our Monday afternoon volunteer and helps with fundraisers and grants. Linda says, “the most rewarding experience in my time with the shelter has always been when one of our animals leaves the shelter to go to their forever home.”

It is such a joyous, rewarding experience to watch one of our dogs leave the shelter full of excitement with a new family or see a cat snuggle up, with its head on the shoulder of the person who has chosen it. One of my favorite moments at PALS happened the day before Thanksgiving when I watched a young dog, so full of life and energy, meet its forever family, who drove from Columbia, Missouri, to adopt. It was a perfect match and what made it even more special is that I knew that dog had been rescued from a very bad situation. Getting to see these moments is one of the many rewards of being involved with our shelter.

For years, the First Presbyterian Church’s Oatmeal Festival has been a favorite event in Parsons. Even though they are no longer doing that, the wonderful ladies from the Presbyterian Church and several other PALS supporters are helping PALS provide a very special meal on the night of the Parsons Christmas parade. from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in the basement of the Parsons Municipal Building, PALS is sponsoring a Christmas festival. We will be serving the Minnesota Wild Rice and Chicken Soup and the oatmeal bread that everyone has loved for years from the Oatmeal Festival. We also will be serving chili, chicken noodle soup, vegetarian three-bean soup and cinnamon rolls. Cookies will be provided in place of the oatmeal bread or cinnamon rolls for children under 5, who eat for free. Tickets are $7 and may be purchased in advance at PALS or at the door. Carryout will be available. Proceeds go to PALS. Beginning at 6 p.m., the Labette Creek Crooners will serenade diners with beloved Christmas carols, which will make the evening more festive. 

We also have a food and supplies drive going on until Christmas. People can drop off donations at the shelter, Allen’s Vet Center or Orscheln’s. We have our wish list available in each of those places. In addition to dog and cat food and treats, we can always use cleaning supplies. 

We want to thank you all, once again, for your support of the Proud Animal Lovers Shelter and we’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy new year. We hope you’ll come and enjoy our PALS Christmas Festival on Dec. 6.

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