Thursday, January 8, 2015

Check given from North GA Pickleball Club to Sheriff Joe Arpaio MASH Unit

Submitted by Ann Earley, Ambassador, North Georgia

Dr. Tom and Ann Earley met with Sheriff Joe Arpaio to present a check for $1000 to the M*A*S*H unit in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona. This check was half of the proceeds of the fall tournament for the North Georgia Pickleball Club (NGAPC). The other half of the proceeds went to the Cherokee humane society in Canton, Georgia. Each year the club has a fall tournament with 100% of the proceeds going to a charitable organization.

The old jail at first Avenue and Madison Street in downtown Phoenix was repaired in 1999 and put in air conditioning and had the cells fixed up to care for the Maricopa Animal Safe Hospice, a no-kill shelter intended to care for animals that have been neglected or abused by their owners and thankfully rescued by the animal cruelty investigative unit. These animals are in legal limbo until their owners' cruelty cases are decided in court. After that, hopefully, they will be adopted into decent, loving homes. M*A*S*H also houses, for up to 60 days, the pets of individuals who have been forced to take refuge in domestic violence shelters that do not accept pets.

While the M*A*S*H program is designed to care for the animals, it has a powerful effect on some of the inmates as well. Inmates are allowed the opportunity to care for the abused animals, to groom, feed, exercise, train, and nurse them. The point of this considerable effort is to create a bond between the inmates and the pets, to have the inmates not only take responsibility for the well-being of another living creature, but also feel compassion for something other than themselves.

It works, more often, than not. The M*A*S*H unit is part of the adult inmate program section that works in conjunction with community groups to give the prisoners a new lease on life. NGAPC is proud to be a part of this effort.

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