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Recycled Love: Driven to help pets

Tracey Cavanagh is pictured with Porsche. Cavanagh has had a huge heart for animals ever since she was a child.
Tracey Cavanagh is pictured with Porsche. Cavanagh has had a huge heart for animals ever since she was a child. - Contributed
TRURO, N.S. —

People often ask what drove me to get involved in animal rescue, and I struggle to answer each time. 
What I am well aware of is I have had a lifelong love for animals, and maybe, throughout the years, I realized animals needed protecting. I believe my deep-rooted commitment started in my childhood because animals have been a part of my life since I was a child. 
I have been thinking about my long history with pets, and something hit me like a bolt of lightning. There has been one person in particular by my side my whole life who also has a natural affinity for animals. Her name is Tracey Cavanagh, and she is my sister. You read that right; I have a sister named Tracey. We are stepsisters, but long before we became family, she was my best friend and remains so today.
Tracey and I grew up in the Ottawa Valley with our siblings, six in total. Friends and neighbours lovingly named us the original Brady Bunch.
Tracey has always been a kind-hearted woman who is extremely generous with her time. She and her husband Pat live in Ottawa and throughout their marriage have owned numerous comical rescue cats; Neisha, Buffy and Abbey. Cats have always been Tracey's favourite pet and who can blame her? Cats make lovely, entertaining pets. Just ask any cat owner. 
I remember when we were young children, our parents took us to an animal shelter to adopt another dog. It took quite a bit of time for six children to agree on one dog, but we finally selected a little cutie.
On the drive home, Tracey and I tried to come up with a name for the new little dog. We threw around silly names like children would: Blueberry, Tulip and Rose but finally agreed on the name Muffin.
Tracey has always stood up for animals, and she is still the first person to reach out to me when she hears of an abuse situation. A couple of years ago, I told Tracey my husband and I were hosting a fundraiser for homeless pets at the Chester Yacht Club. Tracey is a high-quality person and insisted on flying in for the weekend to help.
I think if you were to ask Tracey why she helps homeless pets, she would shy away from any praise you may try to bestow on her as she is a modest and humble woman. Even as a child, she was gracious and loyal.
I have often read a quote that reminds me of Tracey, and I do not know who wrote it: “The world is filled with nice people. If you can’t find one be one.” We should all strive to be more like Tracey because she makes the world a better place to live, and she makes the world more comfortable for our pets.
I guess you could say my drive to help homeless pets came from my rich childhood that was spent with my favourite cat-loving sister and best friend, the unique Tracey Cavanagh.
Please be kind to animals.
 

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