On the night before Christmas

Mrs. Claus asked with interest

Do you think it's going to reindeer?

— Victoria Narcisi,

Rossmoor, Walnut Creek

Nonprofits need help

Bay Area nonprofit animal welfare organizations and city and county animal shelters need help from their friends.

You know who they are.

Nice people such as Community Concern for Cats, who look after feral cats in your area when no one else will.

Friendly folks such as Contra Costa Humane Society, who provide emergency medical funding and spay/neuter assistance programs for low-income residents.

I'm talking about a wide range of big and small groups that rescue and find homes for animals and provide animal education programs in the community.

And that's along with other uncounted daily good deeds that they do.

Groups like: ARF in Walnut Creek, Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, Contra Costa Animal Services in Martinez, Valley Humane Society in Pleasanton, Hopalong Animal Rescue in Oakland, H.A.R.P. and H.A.L.O. in East Contra Costa County, San Francisco SPCA, Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, and of course the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek.

And that's only the tip of the BIG warm, fuzzy iceberg in our communities.

These nonprofit and city and county organizations are out there where we live to help us and our pets and local wildlife when we need it.


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Well, right now these groups can use a little help from US for a change.

I got a call from Mim Carlson, former director of Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society.

"Nonprofit animal welfare agencies are experiencing a heavier demand for rescuing and re-homing animals because the economic downturn is forcing people to give up their pets as they struggle to make ends meet," Mim said. "Unfortunately, all these nonprofit groups rely 100 percent on community support to help the animals, and they are seeing a significant drop in the donations coming in."

In other words, at the same time these organizations are needed more than ever, they have less money to help them save animal lives.

That is not good.

Dave Stegman, director of Valley Humane Society, was even more to the point: "In my 37 years of serving the nonprofit sector, I have never experienced a more challenging financial period."

Donations are way down for our animal welfare friends at a very busy time.

You can help "... we can all help "... by sending a donation (nothing is too small or large) to an animal welfare organization in your community.

Yes, I know we're all hurting for cash right now. If you can't send them money, call and ask if you can help in other ways. I'm sure they'll think of something.

If it's a city or county organization and you're not sure they take money donations, call them up and ask.

"Can I send money, warm blankets for the animals? Towels?"

Even if you can just spare $1, or $5, please do.

Try to imagine how it would be if any of these organizations weren't there to help us and our animals. Not a good thought, is it?

I don't have enough room to print a list of the groups and their mailing addresses, so I'll post them in my blog, www.ibabuzz.com/garybogue.

And if you are a Bay Area nonprofit animal welfare organization and I don't have you listed in my blog, e-mail me your group's name and address, phone, e-mail, etc. and I'll add it.

I'm taking a break for the rest of this week and will be back Dec. 30. Merry Christmas yourself!

And thanks for caring!

Find more Gary in his blog at www.ibabuzz.com/gary. bogue or write Gary, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099; old columns at ContraCostaTimes.com., click on Columns; e-mail garybug@infionline.net