Abandoned animals find love at local hero’s sanctuary

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

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Community heroes, those who are working to make a difference, are sometimes quiet and often overlooked. One such person who has been a guardian to the unwanted and abused dogs and cats in Greenville, is Kandys Killough. After moving to Greenville in 1985 from her hometown in Texas, she turned her property into a dog and cat sanctuary and said she feels the life of rescue chose her, as she has never been able to turn away from an animal in need. 

“It’s my passion; I love them,” Killough said. “When something’s right there in your face, what are you going to do? I’ve had people drive up here and get out a box of kittens with the umbilical cords still attached with no mother. I just can’t turn them away. This is my nurturing, and these animals are my children.”

She worked at the Greenville Animal Shelter for one year before starting her own business, Pet Nanny Rescue, where she boarded pets to help financially support the animals accumulating in her sanctuary. Killough became the vice president and then president of the Butler County Humane Society (BCHS), a title she still holds today and she continues to partner with the Animal Shelter to foster dogs and cats that the shelter does not have space for.

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“There are so many good people in this world that take care of their animals, but there are so many people in this world that don’t,” Killough said.

Cory Rice, a Greenville native, is a full-time animal caretaker at the sanctuary and Killough’s apprentice. Rice said she has known Killough since she was a child and found kinship with her over their deep love and desire to help these innocent beings. Rice recently moved back to Greenville to help Killough efficiently keep the sanctuary alive. 

“In just the past two weeks we’ve had almost 20 new animals come in and 15 are still here with no sign of leaving soon.” Rice said. “We currently have 17 dogs, eight puppies, 12 kittens and around 50 cats. When you only have one or two people looking after all of these animals it can be really hard. But, somebody has to do it.” 

Dogs and cats were meant to be companions, Rice noted, and stressed that they weren’t bred to be in cages. 

“It breaks my heart that so many are just left with no one to help, so I’m here to be that voice for them,” she said.

Killough said she is very happy to have Rice back at the sanctuary full time. 

“I am delighted to have Cory here with me again,” Killough said. “She is truly terrific.” 

Killough is an advocate for spaying and neutering pets and strays. She explained that up to nearly 5,000 kittens can be born from one unspayed female cat and her offspring within seven years, and up to 508 puppies can be born from one unspayed female dog and her offspring in seven years. 

These numbers are nowhere near the amount an unneutered male cat or dog can produce within a seven year span, Killough pointed out. 

“Clay Hill Animal Clinic is wonderful to us, they give us a generous donation every January and we spend every bit of that right back with them,” Killough said. “But unfortunately a lot of people can’t afford to get their animals spayed or neutered with most local veterinarians. That’s why I make weekly trips to the grant funded Alabama Animal Alliance in Montgomery where they offer low cost spay and neuter. If people still need further financial help they can reach out to me and we will work something out, as it is that important.”

Killough said Kristi Sexton, the Greenville Animal Control Officer, has seen a reduction in the puppy and kitten population in the area since they have been working together to address this problem. She said their approach is one dog and cat at a time.

Rice said the sanctuary is in desperate need of donations, as the majority of costs to care for the sanctuary is out-of-pocket. Donations go towards medications, spay and neuter, food and water, sheltering, electricity to cool and heat enclosures, events, gas and fees for transfers to rescue facilities, enrichment, and equipment. 

Rice said they are also looking for volunteers in any capacity.

“If you’re good at fundraisers or have creative ideas to raise money, contact me,” Rice said. “If you want to volunteer, there are so many projects we could use help with or you could just spend time petting and loving on the animals, as that is very time consuming in itself. If you know someone who wants to adopt or who needs help getting their pets spayed or neutered, contact me.”

To volunteer, contact Rice at (334)-368-8246. To donate, send any amount through Paypal at bchsal@gmail.com. To mail in a donation, send it to BCHS P.O. Box 264, Greenville 36037. To donate food or supplies, contact Rice, or Killough at (334)-437-0729.