At our annual Black Tie & Tails gala this year, one of our live auction items was the opportunity to have your pet on the cover of an upcoming issue of Petsburgh Magazine. It was such a popular prize that we had two winners! For this issue, Kimba, a beautiful 12-year-old Pitbull mix, rescued by Virginia Flaherty, is shining bright.
Get to know Kimba and Virginia:
Tell us about Kimba … what makes her unique? I believe anytime you rescue an animal, and really make them part of your family, they become unique [because of] their cute personalities. They react that way because not only do they trust you [entirely] but they [also] take on the characteristics of the family. [Kimba] tilts her sweet head when she knows I’m talking about her, she leans up against me when she knows that I am upset [and] she is so happy when I walk through the door. When I talk to her, she looks directly into my eyes, I love it!
Why is Kimba so special to you? Any particular stories you’d want to share? She is special because she literally is my baby. Her expressions are more effective than if she could talk. When we first adopted Kimba, she was full of energy and always wanted to play. [Unfortunately, our other dog,] who was ten years older than Kimba, was terminally ill and had to be put [to sleep]. The vet came to our house and for the first time, Kimba was completely calm and sat on the chair [looking] so sad with her head on her paws. As we were all crying, Kimba seemed to know, and from that day on, she [knew] that she was now the big sister and really grew up.
Why do you support Animal Friends and would you encourage others to do the same? I learned to support Animal Friends as a little girl. My mother was the neighborhood animal person, and anytime stray kittens or cats were found, neighbors would bring them to our house and sometimes, they would be in such bad shape. [She] would set up a cage in the middle of the living room, or put them in the upstairs bath to medicate and nurture them back to health, and by the time she placed them into their own home, they were as happy as an animal could be – she made them good as new!
The medical part always involved Animal Friends when they were on Penn Ave. I always remember her reaching out to Eula Mae or Ed Blotzer for help, whether it was an animal that needed vet care, spay or neuter [surgery] or a bad abuse case, she utilized them and they always came through for her. I used to always ride with her when she had to drive to Animal Friends to pick something up or to drop an animal off for vet care. I remember I was her best assistant! She used to say to me, “I don’t know what I would do without Animals Friends.” My parents always taught all of my brothers and sisters to respect animals. I also help other rescues, too, but I do have to say I am so impressed how Animals Friends has grown. [Their] facility is effective and well kept, and I see the animals in a comfortable kennel. Each animal deserves a home of their own and that is something that I will always contribute to … the wellbeing of every animal, whether it is domesticated or wild.