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June 27, 2022

Good Samaritan

Group founder helps needy creatures
While all the volunteers and staff members for a nonprofit such
as All Creatures Great and Small all have a hand in making their
work successful, some people put in a little more effort than
others. Volunteers with All Creatures Great and Small recently
nominated Vivian Kennedy as a Good Samaritan for her work through
the years to help homeless animals.
Group founder helps needy creatures

While all the volunteers and staff members for a nonprofit such as All Creatures Great and Small all have a hand in making their work successful, some people put in a little more effort than others. Volunteers with All Creatures Great and Small recently nominated Vivian Kennedy as a Good Samaritan for her work through the years to help homeless animals.

Kennedy is the founder of the local nonprofit that works with rescue animals and she has been doing rescue work in San Benito County for nearly 10 years. Her organization has been able to save countless cats and dogs from death through a network of foster homes. She works with the Hollister Animal Shelter, as well as shelters and rescue groups in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara counties to place animals in a safe environment. In addition, Kennedy has paid medical bills for injured animals out of her own pocket, according to Huber.

“All of this is being done in spite of many personal challenges and she invests a lot of her own resources into the medical and other care for these animals so they have a second chance at a good life,” wrote Jeanne Huber, a fellow volunteer, in an e-mail.

Huber has known Kennedy for three and a half years. They met when she first moved to the area and looked for a rescue group to volunteer with.

“This woman has just really put her own personal life second to doing this for the animals,” Huber said. “She is really so committed and she has been an outspoken advocate for animals.”

Kennedy has been pushing for the passage of AB 1634, a state assembly bill that would make spay and neutering of pets mandatory in California. Proponents of the bill believe it will lower the rate of unwanted pets and the number of feral cats.

For now, Kennedy maintains feral cat colonies around the county.

“I actually help with feral cat feeding over at Casa de Fruta,” Huber said. “But Kennedy arranges for people to do it. But times when people move or can’t go, she will do it.”

Now that the first litters of spring kittens have been born, Kennedy is likely to be extra busy. Last summer during a car show where the group had set up for a pet fair, Kennedy quickly took the lead when someone found two-week-old kittens in a plastic bag at the Windmill Market in San Juan Bautista. The kittens were brought to Kennedy who quickly fed the kittens a meal by bottle, cleaned them up and found them a foster home until they were old enough for adoption.

“They need to be fed every three hours at that age,” Kennedy said, a few days after the pet fair. “It’s no different than a mother feeding a baby, except you don’t have diapers. It’s a commitment and something you have to commit to for a period of at least a minimum of up to five weeks.”

Foster homes are always a need for the group, since Kennedy can take in only so many animals to her own home. In addition transportation is important since she works with rescue groups throughout California.

“I’ve felt from her that she’s always loved animals because they give so much more to you than they do take, no matter how badly they have been treated,” Huber said.

For more information on pets available for adoption or to volunteer with All Creatures Great and Small, visit www.allcreaturesgs.org or call 636-7559.

Good Samaritan is an ongoing feature in the Weekend Pinnacle. Locals are encouraged to nominate volunteers for mention in the paper. Please contact City Editor Melissa Flores at [email protected] or 637-6300 for a copy of the nomination form or more information.

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