Birthday fundraiser draws dog, cat lovers

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
For the third consecutive year, Wortham’s Hope Pirkle dedicated her birthday celebration to raising donations for LARAS House, Limestone County’s only no-kill animal shelter.
Hope’s 12th birthday was actually Sunday, March 11, but she and her family and friends spent midday Saturday holding the third annual Hope’s Barkin’ Birthday Bash at the shelter, located on Tehuacana Hwy. northwest of Mexia.
The idea was that those who might have considered giving Hope a birthday present would instead donate about $12 or 12 pounds of pet food to LARAS House, which currently houses 75 dogs and 40 cats. The request for donations, however, was opened to anyone who cares about the rescued animals. Additionally, a reduced price on dog and cat adoptions was arranged for that day, which made looking for a pet easier for those on a budget – and there were 10 takers on that sweet deal. Adoptions were only $12 that day instead of the usual $100, which includes vaccinations, spaying or neutering and getting a microchip implanted.
Dogs and cats are an important part of life for Hope, who also volunteers her time to work at the shelter. She seems content to spend her time and efforts on the animals, and she recalled how the event started two years ago.
“I was tired of having a regular old birthday,” she said, “and I wasn’t doing anything to help my community. I said, ‘Why don’t I just donate all my gifts and my birthday to LARAS House?’ I would come out here and work and all that, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll just host it here.’ I was raised around many dogs and cats. Most of our cats and dogs have come from here. Anything to give back would be awesome.”