Kentucky teenager spends birthday caring for homeless animals | Kentucky News


By BOBBIE FOUST, Le Soleil de Paducah

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) – A teenage girl from Lyon County has been celebrating her birthday a little differently than others, and she has been doing so for half of her life. Gracelyn Knoth Taylor recently turned 14, and when she was 7 she told her family and friends that she didn’t want gifts from them on her birthday.

Instead of gifts, she asked her family to donate items such as dog and cat food, cat litter and other supplies needed for the animals at the Crittenden County Animal Shelter.

“Instead of asking for gifts for my birthday, I asked for things the animals at the shelter needed,” she said, noting that she also accepts cash donations to help homeless creatures. . “Then we go out and buy more dog and cat food for them. “

Gracelyn, her friends and family then go to the shelter, pick up the supplies and spend time with the animals. “Sometimes we spend the day; we bathe animals and then we give them treats, ”she said, adding that she was inspired to celebrate her birthday this way because she“ really loves going to see ”so many animals.

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“I like being with all the animals and helping them.” She also entertains the animals at the shelter by walking them and giving them treats. “We’re going to buy stuff from the store before we go there and then we give it to them,” she said.

Troy McNeely, Crittenden County Animal Control Officer, praised the teen for her thoughtfulness and interest in animals.

“I have been here since September and have met her twice,” he said. “… We enjoy what she does because we’re funded by the county, but it takes a long time – we’re not really showing a profit here.” “

He added that Gracelyn’s unusual birthday party inspires others to help out at the shelter. “We have a few people who come in once or twice a year and donate,” McNeely said. “Sometimes we go on Facebook and tell (the readers) that we are running out of kitty litter a little bit or something and people are responding pretty well.”

The refuge serves the counties of Crittenden, Livingston and Lyon. Donations can be mailed to: Crittenden County Animal Shelter, 1901 US 60 East, Marion KY 42064.

Not only does Gracelyn visit the animal shelter, but she and her mother, Crissy Knoth, also welcome animals, especially dogs and cats. And they also raise chickens.

“We adopt dogs most of the time,” said Gracelyn, noting that she and her family would bring the dogs to their home until another good home could be found for them. “Normally we only bring one back” at a time, she said.

She also has her own companion dog, a Doberman named Gotti, which her family acquired from a breeder in Hopkinsville. She has already trained Gotti in good basic behavior.

“He’s a good dog,” Gracelyn said, adding that she had loved animals all of her life. She also has five cats, a female named Mama Cat and her five kittens.

“We live in the country, so cats appear at random,” said Crissy Knoth. “We always have the cats (sterilized or neutered) that come in here repaired. This mom cat had been there for about a year and has never had kittens – they are outdoor cats. Then all of a sudden she had a litter of kittens a few months ago, so we keep them inside until they are big enough to care for. My mother, Paula (Knoth), has a fairly large collection of cats. She lives behind us, and she has about nine; they are all fixed. Whenever a cat shows up, we try to fix it.

“We also have chickens; we have eight chicks and a turkey, ”Crissy said. The chickens will provide fresh eggs for the family once they grow up. The chicks “are too young to produce eggs right now,” she said.

“Our first experience with chickens – we had them about five years ago – was when Akridge had a chick day. So we went to get eight. We had a rooster and seven hens. The rooster was quite famous in the county of Lyon. He just passed away this year; he was 5 years old, that’s a good age for a rooster. They went on spring break with us a year ago when they were little. Capone was the name of the rooster, and I dressed him up every year at Christmas. A friend built us this very nice chicken coop and a swing and the chickens have a natural water filtration system in it.

For now, the family has to keep their chicks indoors because of a predator in their neighborhood. “We have a fox around here, and this fox had three hens from our original brood.” said Crissy. “So we’re starting over with new chicks, but they’re not in that pen yet until we figure out how to keep that fox out.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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