Humane society's 'Willow Fund' tapped to help two cats in crisis


LACONIA — About 30 years ago, the New Hampshire Humane Society was brought a dog that was had been tied to a tree in Bridgewater, presumably left to die. The dog, named "Willow" by the animal shelter, made a full recovery, thanks to significant emergency care and was adopted by a loving family. The incident proved two things to the organization – that animals that are even on the brink of death can be rehabilitated to become ideal pets, and second, that the shelter needed to establish a fund so that it could provide life-saving procedures on a moment's notice. Last week, the society's Willow Fund was leveraged twice to help two cats in need of urgent, and in one case, life-saving, care.

"Neglect and cruelty happen, animals do come in that need help ... We're the safe harbor for these animals," said Marylee Gorham-Waterman, executive director of the New Hampshire Humane Society.

On the evening of Thursday, Jan. 28, the Laconia animal control officer delivered an orange-and-white cat, "Razzy", which had already been to a veterinarian in Laconia, where it was suspected that one of the cat's front legs was broken. The cat was sent to the Concord Area Veterinary Emergency Services, where it was determined that both front legs had been broken.

Gorham said that "all points indicate" that the cat had been forcefully kicked down a flight of stairs in a private home in Laconia. The cat's fur was matted, and he was dehydrated, Gorham said, which points to possible neglect prior to the suspected abuse.

A representative from Laconia Police said that there was an "open investigation" into the incident.

"I certainly hope that there will be some accountability for what happened to this cat," said Gorham. "He's in pretty bad shape." One of the legs required the use of pins to reset the bones, and he is currently recuperating at a foster home.

On the same night that "Razzy" was receiving emergency medical care, a family in Belmont discovered another orange-and-white tomcat desperately in need of assistance. Gorham said that a family dog alerted its owners to something under a set of porch steps; when they looked underneath, the found a cat, now named "Olaf," who was curled tightly in a ball. Because it was late in the evening, the family pulled the cat out and gave it a warm bed for the night. When they awoke in the morning, they feared that it had died due to its lack of motion.

"When we looked at him, we found truly the ravages of frostbite," said Gorham. Exposure to the cold had destroyed soft tissues on the rear legs, such that bone was visible. He was dirty and starving, indicating that he was living as a stray for quite some time, though he also had been neutered at some point in his life.

"We don't know how he ended up fending for himself on the streets," Gorham said.

"Olaf" is being cared for at the shelter. Once he regains his strength, he will require surgery to remove a portion of his ear that was damaged by frostbite. His care will require at least $1,200, while "Razzy's" treatment will cost at least $2,000. Those expenses will be paid out of the shelter's Willow Fund.

"Both of these cats are sweet and gentle, just so loving. That's the truly sad part," said Gorham.

Donations to the Willow Fund can be made through, by mail to P.O. Box 572, Laconia, NH 03246, or by visiting the shelter.

Those who wish to support the shelter while celebrating in Big Easy-style may buy tickets for "Unleashed: Mardi Gras with a Mission," being held at Tavern 27 on Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $54 in advance, or $63 on the day of the event. The fundraiser features a wine and tapas tasting, with live New Orleans-style music, and a Mardi Gras party. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the New Hampshire Humane Society.

Razzle the cat is healing from having two broken legs. (Courtesy Photo)

Razzle the cat is healing from having two broken legs. (Courtesy Photo)

Gilford swears in new officer

With her own family, new Gilford PD family, Gilford Town personnel, & members of the Belknap County Sheriff's Dept. all looking on, Officer Kimberly Orr took her oath of office earlier today as she joined GPD as a full-time patrol officer. Officer Orr has relocated to the area from Lexington, MA, where she had been previously employed as an officer with that town's police department.

With her own family, new Gilford PD family, Gilford Town personnel and members of the Belknap County Sheriff's Department all looking on, Officer Kimberly Orr, left, took her oath of office Friday morning as she joined GPD as a full-time patrol officer.  Orr has relocated to the area from Lexington, Massachusetts, where she had been previously employed as an officer with that town's police department. With her is Chief Anthony Bean Burpee.

Ted Cruz packs the Beane Center days before primary

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz made supporters wait about a half hour for a visit to the Beane Conference Center in Laconia last night, but promised to bring the old Reagan coalition together. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

LACONIA — While a packed house at the Beane Conference Center waited nearly an hour for Ted Cruz last night, the campaign showed several videos, of which the most telling were those featuring leaders of the "liberty movement," particularly the one recalling the support first Ron then Rand Paul expressed for Cruz.

Following his poor showing in Iowa, Rand Paul dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination, orphaning his libertarian followers. who In New Hampshire far outnumber the evangelicals who fueled Cruz's victory in Iowa.

The Cruz who spoke in Laconia was an equally conservative, but more secular candidate than carried the cornfields on Monday , or even than stumped in Tilton last month. His top priority was spurring economic growth by lowering taxes and easing regulations. "I will repeal every word of Obamacare," he vowed, "and replace it with "common sense reforms that make healthcare personal, portable and affordable." He said he would introduce a flat tax that would enable taxpayers to file their returns "on a postcard" and abolish the Internal Revenue Service. And finally, he pledge to "defend our constitutional rights, especially "religious liberty" and the "right to bear arms."

Cruz stressed the urgency of rebuilding the military, securing the borders and "utterly destroying ISIS," all familiar themes of his stump speech. He also dwelt on the 10th amendment to the Constitution, which he takes to severely limit the authority of the federal government and envisioned returning extensive authority to the fifty separate states and, above all, to "we the people."

"Taking power out of Washington and back to we the people," he said. That's what this campaign is all about.

Cruz regularly likens the current state of the Union to the late 1970s, when the failings of the Carter Administration led to what he calls "the Reagan Revolution," which last he said began with the New Hampshire Primary. "New Hampshire gave America our 40th president and changed the arc of history," he declared, adding " I see the old Reagan coalition coming together."

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