It All Began ...
Cynthia Magaro was my friend. It was her idea. It was her vision.
Bring all the shelters and rescue groups together to work as
a united front to make Central Pennsylvania a no-kill community.
is a "no-kill" community? It is a community where
animals are no longer put to sleep because shelters are overcrowded. It
is a community where animals are no longer put to sleep because
they are old or sick. It is a community where euthanasia
is reserved for only animals that are so sick or injured
that they have no quality of life.
early 2001, Cynthia began to put her idea into action. She
had several meetings with the shelters and rescue groups
in the Central Pennsylvania area to talk about beginning
to work together. Then, she was diagnosed with cancer
and died six months later, on November 10, 2001.
thought for sure that someone would take Cynthia's idea and
run with it. I waited, and waited, but nothing happened.
I knew virtually nothing about what Cynthia had done previously,
but I knew how important it was to her to bring all the animal
welfare organizations together. So, in March 2002, I
asked for help in locating her files on the previous meetings. The
files were found and contained only the group contact list.
I began e-mailing everyone on the list, asking if we could
pick up where Cynthia left off.
June 2002, we had our first meeting. We agreed to continue
to work together with the goal of creating a "no-kill" community
for our companion animals. We started off small, naming
our group the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance, or CPAA. Jill
Tarman created our logo. We created a group e-mail list
so that we could easily contact and help each other. We spearheaded
a billboard project in the Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg areas,
advocating for spay neuter. We had meetings every other
month. But, over the ensuing months, attendance eventually
dwindled and interest was lacking. Something was missing.
came the No More Homeless Pets Conference in Philadelphia
in October 2003. The conference confirmed the need for animal
welfare groups to work together toward a "no-kill" initiative. The
conference emphasized that working together was the only
way to accomplish that goal. Because, working together
as a group, we can accomplish so much more than working as
individuals. As a group, we can pool our resources to
help each other help the animals, all for a common goal. The
conference created a groundswell of enthusiasm for the no-kill
initiative. We had found what was missing.
returned from that conference energized and inspired like
never before. Creating a no-kill community in Central Pennsylvania
was no longer just a laudable goal, it was entirely possible
and we were going to make it happen. And our group,
the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance was the way it was
going to happen.
formally organized as a non-profit organization. We appointed
a Board of Directors. We developed a strategic plan
for aggressive spay/neuter efforts, increased adoptions of
orphaned animals, and public outreach and education. The
positive energy created from the conference has built upon
itself to create even more positive energy within our group.
We have an extraordinary alliance of dedicated individuals.
I am proud and honored to work with each and every one of
idea. Cynthia's vision. It is now CPAA's goal. And
with your help, we are going to make it happen.
Founder and Director, CPAA
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