sandhillspetgazetteMy husband, John, and I moved to the Pinehurst area in December 2004.  I was a flight attendant for 20 years and ready to “clip my wings” and John, a corporate attorney for 30 years and an avid golfer was looking for a desirable place in which to semi-retire.  We discovered that the Pinehurst area was a perfect match.   John and I have always loved animals and being childless, our pets have become our surrogate children. 

We have been actively involved in local animal welfare groups since 2006 and continue to be an advocate for the countless homeless animals in Moore County.  In the summer and fall of 2006, we adopted two rescues named Farley and Scotti from Solutions For Animals, Inc. of Raeford where non-profit shelters like this and others are dedicated to saving lives daily.

Farley was rescued literally minutes from euthanasia at Hoke County Animal Control. 
His personality is larger than life and he is an affectionate, devoted companion who enjoys his daily walks with his dad, stuffed toys and patrolling his yard for critters.

Our little Scotti was rescued from a local puppy mill by Dr. Elizabeth  Lyerly, D.V.M. of Whispering Pines Animal Hospital.  Due to the horrendous living conditions, many of the animals came out with numerous health problems that would continue for the rest of their lives.  Scotti lived at Whispering Pines Animal Hospital and Solutions For Animals before we adopted him.  He was not housebroken; he was blind in one eye and the few teeth he did have, earned him the nickname “Scrat” for his resemblance to the character in the Ice Age movies.  For me, it was love at first sight and I believe that we were meant to be together for whatever time he had left on earth.  After spending three years with us, Scotti passed on in 2009 but his tenacity to survive and still embrace life is a lesson that we will continue to carry on in his memory.  That little 10 pound Pomeranian/Jack Russell dog beat the odds and only survived because of the many people that chose to take a risk and make a difference.  He was loved by many…

Shortly before losing our beloved Scotti, I committed to volunteering at the Animal Center for an Open House event.  I decided that in honor of his memory, I needed to continue helping those in need.  Soon after I arrived for a day of bathing and laundry I heard “Betsy, come and see this little dog.  You just have to meet her.  Just come and say hi.”  I looked and in the back of a kennel was a little white pile of fur that melted my heart.  Welcome Maizie Grae…  and so the story is, she was supposedly surrendered due to the owners’ relocation and was tied with a large chain in the back bed of a pick up truck when they arrived.  She was extremely matted, malnourished and flea infested.  The owner was delighted to share that she had given birth to at least 24 puppies although she appeared to be only five or six years old.  When my husband asked how my day was, all I could say was that we adopted another dog…….end of story.  Maizie spent an additional five days at the Animal Center until her spay was completed.  Everyday, we would visit her and promise that her days of birthing babies were over.  Now she lives a life of warm beds, nutritious food and trips to the Pooch Park.  Farley now has a sister that will chase him around the yard and play tug-of-war with the menagerie of stuffed toys.  She is a wonderful addition to our home and she likes us just fine too!

Betsy Ficarro, Publisher