October 23, 2021

11-year-old Homer girl has eye out for animals

Katie Keyser/living and leisure editor

Isabella Dallaire, 11, of Homer, brings in bags of donated bedding Saturday to the Cortland Community SPCA on McLean Road, Cortlandville.

Isabella Dallaire said her dad kept asking her, “What do you want for Christmas?”

“I have so much junk. I get toys from my mom. (Dad) gets me bigger things like a TV. I don’t want that any more. I want to help the cats and dogs.”

Instead of a gadget, a book or a toy, Isabella’s father, Gary Dallaire, bought the 11-year-old three cases of Blue Buffalo canned dog and cat food, specially calibrated for an animal’s diet, that were promptly delivered Saturday to the Cortland Community SPCA.

“That brings more joy to me for Christmas than more plastic in my bedroom,” said the Homer youth.

And before she and her dad dropped those cases off, they roved around the house gathering up unneeded towels, blankets and sheets that the 879 McLean Road shelter in Cortlandville uses for caring and comforting the animals.

“We absolutely love the donations,” said Ashley Rotunda, office staff member and animal caretaker. “We think it’s amazing to see loving, caring people, especially when we see the negative aspects from working here.”

The Cortland Community SPCA works to prevent cruelty to animals, provides spay/ neuter clinics and foster pet parents and adopts out animals.

Donations are important, said Alexis Buck, officer staff and animal caretaker at the Cortland Community SPCA.

“We recently did a court case. We took in over 70 animals,” she said.

“From our normal 20 animals in the shelter to 100, we need donations. Donations help us out.”

On Saturday, several residents brought random donation of food and chew toys to the SPCA, which is also on the look out for used wash clothes, bleach, laundry detergent, toilet paper, small litter boxes, cat toys and paper towels, according to its website, cortlandspca.org.

Gary Dallaire is hoping his daughter’s gesture inspires others to get in the giving spirit.

“This was her idea. I am trying to encourage this and support her. She’s always been taught it’s the energy you create, that’s what you live in.”