Karen McMeekIn is the Founder and President of A Time 4 Paws (AT4P) in Cumberland County. Many of you are very familiar with the organization and have taken advantage of the services that are offered in the community for the past 11 years.

Numerous cats and dogs have found loving homes from the AT4P Adoption Center. Several of you have heard Karen speak at various meetings about her love and concern for neglected animals in our area. A Time 4 Paws is a no kill non-profit animal welfare organization. Their mission is to provide and promote education and programs that will eliminate the killing of homeless dogs and cats and to prevent cruelty to animals.

Karen has been exposed and personally involved with several animal cruelty investigations in the community. They include dog/cock fighting, puppy mills, back yard breeder’s neglect, poor housing, lack of food and water, cruel chaining to trees or fences and anti-tethering laws.

National Animal Cruelty Investigation (NACI) School came to Karen’s attention and she enrolled, with the help of an anonymous donor, to the University of Missouri to complete her studies. The program has three different components. Each component is composed of a 5-day, 40-hour course.

After completing all three components (120 hours) Karen received her Certified Humane Investigator Certificate in Professional, Advanced and Expert levels. All students have two things in common. They are concerned about animal welfare and they are extremely driven.

Karen urges each reader of this story to be on the lookout for animal cruelty offenders. Make note of the incident and report the situation to the local law enforcement with as much detail as possible. Names, address, specific location and the exact abuse you observed are important. Some of the cases may involve arrests by the police and court action. These may take time to investigate before any action can take place by the police, so have patience.

A Time 4 Paws is currently involved with animal cruelty investigations, pet retention, long-term compassionate care, spay and neuter assistance and humane education. There are many areas where volunteers can assist and gain personal satisfaction. Learn more about AT4P and consider volunteering by contacting the website at at4p.org or email savetnpets@gmail.com. Call the AT4P Animal Abuse Hotline, 931-422-8732, if you have any questions or concerns.

by Ken Steadman