COPPERAS COVE — When Deleah Ames’ two dogs died in 2005 and her parents wouldn’t let her get a new pup, she decided to fill her need for animal interaction by volunteering at Brandi’s Grooming in Copperas Cove.

The Copperas Cove High School junior was among volunteers and residents participating in a garage sale and adopt-a-thon Saturday in the store’s parking lot. The event raised money for animal vaccinations provided by the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter.

Michelle Cuzenza, an employee at More Paws 2 Love, a nonprofit all-breed dog rescue, helped organize Saturday’s event.

Cuzenza said event organizers would like to donate at least $800 to the shelter.

“Right now, (the shelter) only has 11 vaccines left and they have 28 dogs,” she said. “They weren’t able to vaccinate them all, so that’s why we’re here trying to raise money.”

Cuzenza said vaccines are important to prevent parvo, kennel cough and other illnesses.

“Parvo is really bad in Texas,” she said. “If you don’t vaccinate them, they’ll die in the shelters. There’s a lot of diseases in the shelter.”

At least four animals were adopted Saturday and Cuzenza encouraged residents to adopt or foster a pet rather than buy from a breeder.

Michele Klinger, a Kempner resident who fosters animals, decided to volunteer at the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter because of her love of dogs and cats.

Klinger fosters three cats and 11 dogs and said no matter how many animals die or have to be put down, it’s worth it if she is able to save at least one.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “It’s a lot of taking care of sick animals. ... We lose a lot of them.”

Every pet needs a loving home, Ames said.

Ames misses her dogs and enjoys volunteering at the shelter because it gives her something to love.

“When you’re alone, they can be the best friend you could ever have,” she said. “Some animals have been through abuse and they can sometimes sense when you’re hurt and they’ll come up to you and they’ll start making you happy.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.