A new place for dogs to exercise and play will bear the names of two women who have dedicated countless hours as volunteers, working to save and improve the lives of dogs and other pets in the Midlands.
Petsinc hosted a dedication ceremony Saturday for the Lori North Dog Park and Sue Roe Dog Walk Saturday at its headquarters on Orchard Drive in West Columbia. North spent years as a Petsinc volunteer before passing away in 2013, and Roe continues to serve as a volunteer today.
“Lori had a heart for animals that went way beyond anything possible,” her husband, Joe North, said at the dedication. He spoke of how Lori would spot homeless dogs even while on family vacations, and how, even when returning from cancer treatment in Augusta, she saw a homeless woman and dog and insisted Joe stop. The couple found services to help both woman and dog. “I hope Hope [their daughter] and I can continue her legacy,” Joe North added.
“Lori was passion-driven,” said Petsinc President Renee McMurray. “This would make her happy.”
The new dog park was built by volunteers from space on the Petsinc property which once, as Joe North put it, “wasn’t anything but a bunch of weeds and things.” It now includes plenty of space to run and play, hoops and hurdles for dogs to jump, and a fountain with fresh water providing both beauty and a place to drink for the dogs. “It just said Lori to me,” McMurray said.
“It definitely rubbed off on me,” Joe North said of his late wife’s passion. Lori North raised $45,000 over three years for Petsinc with a golf tournament, in addition to many volunteer hours and rescued animals. Joe and Hope have continued the tournament in her honor.
“She is leaving a legacy that will live on and on,” said Petsinc volunteer Judy Duncan, who encouraged others to follow North’s lead and donate to help Petsinc. “If she and her husband can stop on the interstate and walk through a mile of brush for a dog, we can give up one lunch.”
McMurray described Roe as “a warrior.” She added that Roe, the 2015 Petsinc volunteer of the year, is someone to count on in times of crisis. “If you need something, Sue goes and gets it and then figures out how we’re going to pay for it,” McMurray said.
Roe, who has volunteered at Petsinc since moving to the Midlands nine years ago, said it is a labor of love. “We hear the horror stories of how the animals get here, but that’s over,” she said. “Their lives are better just for being here.”
More information on the services offered by Petsinc and the new dog park and walk is available here.
Pictured: Joe North speaks at Saturday’s dedication, accompanied by a canine friend and flanked by (L-R) Judy Duncan, Sue Roe, Dana Vincent, and Renee McMurray (photo by Allen Wallace)