COLUMBUS, Ohio — “Once your eyes are open to it, you wonder how you didn’t see it.”
When Connie Swackhammer sees someone who’s homeless, she wants to help. Years ago, her son opened her eyes to the plight of the homeless and she says she saw something unexpected.
“We would notice that people that looked like they probably were homeless or in need, they would go into restaurants and they would tether their dog outside... and then they would come outside to their pet and go ahead and share their sandwich with them,” Swackhammer said.
Seeing that sparked an idea.
She would collect pet food to help the homeless take care of their furry friends.
That’s how the seed was planted for “Faithful Forgotten Best Friends,” a non-profit that grew from her son’s love for animals and a desire to help people in need.
“My son is no longer with us,” Swackhammer told 10TV. “He was killed here in Columbus. So, by doing this, it keeps us doing things in his memory, taking care of pets which is what he liked to do.”
Swackhammer and her husband started by asking friends for pet food donations and handing them out to homeless people with pets.
They also work with veterinarians to provide care for the animals.
They hold clinics every Tuesday and visit homeless camps once a month in Columbus to check on the pets.
Faithful, Forgotten Best Friends also provides leashes, collars and licenses for homeless pets.
“We take care of their pets so they don’t have to worry about them and if they choose to better themselves, they can do that,” says Larry Swackhammer.
“It has brought our lives into perspective. How blessed are we that we have a roof over our head, we do have food and we can provide for our animals,” he said.
The charity is always looking for veterinarians. If you are a veterinarian and can volunteer to provide wellness care for pets of the homeless, they need you.
You can volunteer once a week, once a month, whenever you can.
Contact Connie Swackhammer on the charity’s Facebook Page here: facebook.com/faithfulforgottenbestfriends
We want to hear from you about where you found the love. If you know of a person doing something kind for someone else and spreading the love, tell us about it. We may feature them in an upcoming story.