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  • Writer's pictureJulie Osborne



As my arms wrap around his tiny torso and I cradle him tightly, his deep brown eyes struggle to remain open as a peaceful purr settles in. If my sweet Toto could talk I bet he would whisper, “Thank You,” not only for the tummy rub but especially for his new life and those who rescued him to make it possible. Toto’s life has changed dramatically from an orphan who lived on a cold patio to a beloved family member with numerous beds, blankets, and laps where he can find comfort and feel loved.

Now that Toto is healthy and happy, the echo of my mom’s voice continues to resurface, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Instead of just being thankful, Toto and I are doing something to show our gratitude by helping other furry friends in similar situations by becoming an advocate for dogs.

At the end of 2017, there were 201 dogs and cats in cages and kennels at IndyHumane’s facility. Some came from horrific abusive situations like Toto experienced. Many had health issues when they arrived and required medical treatment, as Toto did for worms and parasites. They all need our help.

So Toto and I have decided to promote and participate in IndyHumane’s Mutt Strut to be held on April 28. Our goal is not only to raise money but also awareness of the various services the Indianapolis Humane Society provides, like affordable vaccinations, micro-chipping, behavioral training, and, of course, adoptions. One service that hits home is the low-cost spay and neuter clinic that helps reduce the overpopulation of dogs and cats. Before his rescue, Toto lived in a hoarding/breeding situation, and these procedures can also prevent mistreatment like he experienced. Our goal is to raise $5722, which represents the number of spay/neuters performed at Indy Humane in 2016.

Some of Toto’s friends will be joining us at the Mutt Strut – a lion, scarecrow, and tin man, of course! And if (I mean, when) we meet our goal, Dorothy may even make an appearance, complete with very uncomfortable ruby slippers to walk the Indy 500 track for the greatest spectacle in dog walking.

There are so many homeless pets right now that need a forever family, and we want to help them. We hope you will join us in person, prayer, and/or with a donation.

Toto may not be able to talk, but it goes without saying, “There’s no place like home.”


Toto – at the time of his adoption and today.


Meet Author Julie Osborne

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