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A Furry Godmother


A Furry Godmother


Co-op member-owner creates safe haven for abandoned and neglected animals


A By Taryn Sanderson


bright-eyed, 8-year-old brindle pit bull happily sprints to meet Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (OEC) member Susie Purcell at a chain link fence. The pit bull is the


newest dog that was brought to Purcell’s non-profi t organization, Pets Without Parents, a safe haven for abandoned, abused and neglected dogs, cats, cows and horses. Purcell’s longtime friend, Charles Robertson, assists her with Pets Without Parents and calls the pit bull a sweetheart. “You should have seen her; she just sat there and ate out of my hand like a good girl when she fi rst came to us the other day,” Robertson said. Purcell excites her when she asks if the dog wants


DreamCatcher Spay and Neuter Clinic, which fi xes, med- icates and operates on animals for reduced prices. “I always tell people I have 81 only-cat children and I have 52 only-dog children,” Purcell said. Purcell first learned her love for animals from her mother. “All of my life my mom used to say, ‘Only take from the earth what you need to take and then give back, and always be kind to the animals,’” Purcell said. After raising a family in California, she came to


chicken or roast for dinner; the dog barks on ‘roast.’ Purcell said the dog was brought from Broken Arrow and while animal control caught her, they failed to fi nd her litter of puppies. She came to Purcell with the name ‘Diva’ but Purcell said she’s not fond of those kinds of names and instead calls her ‘Audrey’ after the Hollywood icon, Audrey Hepburn. Audrey’s story is one of many at Pets Without Parents; Purcell currently houses 81 cats, 52 dogs, three cows and two horses. Each animal has a story behind its name and has captured Purcell’s heart. She also runs the


24


OEC member Susie Purcell gives her cow, Red, some much-appreciated attention in “the meadow” on her property. Photos by Taryn Sanderson


Sulphur, Okla., to care for her mother. It was then she found 19 cats near her mother’s home had endured dis- turbingly cruel conditions; Purcell took all 19 straight to her good friend Dr. Nightingale in Ardmore, Okla., where he saved them all. “He is the kindest, sweetest man on the planet; he said he would take care of those kitties for free,” Purcell said. “After that, my idea for Pets Without Parents set off into a whirlwind of adventures.” Purcell began looking for property big enough to meet the expectations for her organization. In 1989, she bought 14 acres in Blanchard, Okla., and has been caring for and healing animals deserving a second chance for 16 years.


The space is separated into three areas: the cat house, the doggie cabins and the meadow. The cat house features playrooms with ramps, shelves and furniture, in addition to an enclosed cat obstacle course. All meals are made in the cat house; Purcell believes ‘real food’ is less costly and she can monitor


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