September 19, 2014

Elyria
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APL marks 50 years

ELYRIA — Debbie Lewis gives all the credit to Snoopy. She adopted the 3-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy last year from the Friendship Animal Protection League in Elyria when she was in the midst of her chemotherapy treatment.

CARL SULLENBERGER/CHRONICLE
Foster mom Autumn Day-Tufts gives a hug to Bruiser as he’s blessed by the Rev. Jimmy Madsen on Sunday in Elyria at the APL’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Her husband, Bob, worked during the day, and she wanted a friend to keep her company during the trying times during her treatment.

“I’d be sick to my stomach and just laying on the couch, but she was always right next to me,” Lewis said while motioning toward her gold-coated pup. “It meant so much to me.”

That was the common story Sunday afternoon at the Friendship APL’s 50th anniversary celebration. About 70 people, many who said they received new hope when they adopted their rescued dog or cat, showed up to express their thanks to the organization.

The APL has been through some trying times since its inception, said Executive Director Sue Heys. She said there never seems to be enough money for the nonprofit, which survives solely on donations and fundraisers, but the organization has survived where most groups have not.

“These animals are rescued and they turn around to make others so happy,” Heys said. “And what other companies can say they’ve been around for 50 years?”

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.