Four legged heroes get star treatment
Animal Rescue League’s Happy Tails benefit a success
A boundlessly brave and loving pit bull who lost her leg while saving her owner from an oncoming train and a cat who, as a tiny kitten, survived last year’s tornadoes in central Massachusetts were A List celebrities at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Happy Tails benefit and gathering on Sunday, July 15 at the ARL’s Chandler Street headquarters. The ARL auditorium was packed from 11:00-3:00 with adoptive pet parents, dogs waiting to be photographed for their own pet portraits, and admirers who wanted to meet the two very special animal guests. Guests were served a buffet of salads, sandwiches and desserts, some of which were vegetarian or vegan, and there were silent and on-line auction items such as autographed guitars and baseballs on display. There was a suggested donation of $10, and a book signing to benefit the ARL as well.
Toto, called the littlest survivor of the Brimfield tornadoes, is now a happy, healthy, friendly and exceptionally poised one-year old cat who enjoys riding in cars, walks on a leash, and remains calm and contented even when surrounded by throngs of fans. Toto sat on a table near his owner, Jonahthan Hall, who was autographing copies of his children’s book about his cat’s rescue and first year with Hall, entitled Toto the Tornado Kitten. All proceeds from the charming and sensitively written book will benefit the ARL. To date, the book ahs raised over $24,000 for the ARL. In addition to his signature, purchasers of the book got a stamped "signature" by Toto himself, the stamp being a reproduction of Toto’s paw print.
Lilly the pit bull and her owner, Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne of East Boston, sat on the floor surrounded by admirers who had read media reports of Lilly’s heroic actions. Lanteigne’s mother, Christine Spain, was walking home from a friend’s house one night in early May when she lost consciousness and fell on railroad tracks as a train approached. The stunned driver of the freight train tried to stop the train before hitting them, and Lilly got Spain off the tracks unharmed. Lilly herself did not escape injury, as her right front leg and pelvis were severely damaged and the leg had to be amputated at Angell Memorial Medical Center. Lilly was the subject of many television, newspaper and on-line reports, prompting the public to donate over $70,000 to Angell for her care, which will include ongoing physical therapy. Lilly appeared happy and greeted her many well-wishers affectionately.