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Girls' love for the animals pays off

Two Greenbrier Middle School students recently took it upon themselves to help "the least of these" in McDuffie County.

Sarah McCutcheon and Laura Tesney, both 12, raised more than $70 in donations from members of their church, Kiokee Baptist in Appling. They used the money to buy supplies for McDuffie Friends of Animals.

"That's pretty grown up for 12-year-olds, I think," said Julie Gibson of McDuffie Friends of Animals. "What a wonderful gift! (I want to) thank them for their dedication and initiative."

Sarah's mother, Michelle McCutcheons, said Sarah "just loves animals." Because she was unable to volunteer with the animal shelter this summer like she normally does, Sarah decided to raise money and buy supplies. After enlisting the help of her friend, Laura, the two girls "told everybody at church what they wanted to do, and people just gladly gave them money.

"I was real proud of her," Mrs. McCutcheons said.

McDuffie Friends of Animals has been helping homeless animals since 1997. Ms. Gibson said the organization takes animals ready for adoption to Petsmart every other Sunday. They also post information on

"We are very small, with only a handful of volunteers," she said. "We do not have anyone to foster dogs for us on a regular basis, so we foster mostly cats. ... We can only do so much."

The group also offers pet owners assistance in getting their animals spayed or neutered, and visits schools to talk to children about the responsibilities of pet ownership.

"I've always been a big believer in education, so we try to hand out informational pamphlets," Ms. Gibson said.

Web posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009

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