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LAKE WYLIE --
Two Lake Wylie residents hope neighbors will wear their hearts on their sleeves, or on any piece of clothing.
For 12 years, Carol Butler and Katherine Gillis have been rescuing cats and caring for feral felines. Theyve paid for spaying and neutering, and have kept the felines fed at about $60 per week.
We, as individuals not an organization, have rescued and kept up to 60 animals, Butler said. We need help in our continuing efforts to feed, provide shelter and medical care for over 27 animals.
It took a year to trap spay and neuter over 48 ferals, many of whom were sick and starving, she said.
Butler has considered starting nonprofit, but learned shed have to be willing to take in new animals at her 1.4-acre home.
I just wanted help taking care of 68 animals, she said.
They annually held an event called Cats Around Us for cat adoptions through Animal Adoption League and sponsored by Lake Wylie Feral Cat Coalition, and accepted donations of cat food.
I wasnt in the cat business, I was in the broadcast business, Butler said. But I dont regret it. Its the right thing to do.
Now, Butler a writer, artist and producer has designed a lapel pin shes calling a Compassion Pin.
Wearing the compassion pin does two things, Butler said. The act of buying one helps support local rescued animals and says the wearer is compassionate about animals.
The heart-shaped pin with images of a cat, dog, horse, rabbit and bird reads Compassion is an Action.
I thought it was something easy for men and women to understand, who already have a dog or cat and are taking care of a critter, Butler said of the pin idea. Compassion is an action. You dont just hold your heart, you do something.
Each pin costs $5. They are available at TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals, 125 Forest Oaks Drive, and Grooming Naturally, 4555 Charlotte Hwy. Pins also may be ordered online at compassionpins.com. Proceeds will be used to pay for food and medical bills for feral and adoptable cats.
I know she does a lot of rescue work and thats why were trying to help her, said Theresa Weast, receptionist at TotalBond.
While the pin sales may help offset the costs, the women say, Spay and neuter are the most compassionate and giving acts you can perform.
For more information, call 704-968-7664.