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A banner Christmas tree sale in Bel Air; tips for helping feral cats in winter | READER COMMENTARY

A banner Christmas tree sale in Bel Air

Thank you, Bel Air! The Bel Air Lions recently completed their annual Christmas Tree sale, and the families of the Bel Air area came out again in record numbers. The Lions sold a record 1400 trees in 22 days. This is a major fundraiser for the Lions, and all proceeds go back into the Bel Air community for many youth programs, sight and hearing programs, diabetes programs and a wide variety of other community services and support. And the tree sale has become an integral part of the Bel Air Holiday celebration.

The Lions would like to thank the town of Bel Air Public Works Department, Harford County Parks and Recreation, the Bel Air Police Department (especially Ofc. Rick Krause), Kristen Barry, Bel Air High school sports teams, the National Honor Society, the VolunTeen Leo youth club, the Bel Air Police Explorers, Boy Scout Troop 313, Matt Button, the Aegis, and Miller & Son Septic Services.

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Thank you to our many returning customers and to those new this year. We are grateful for your support and hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

Dave Ellis and Sandy Guzewich

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Ellis is the chairman of the Christmas tree sale and Guzewich is president of the Bel Air Lions Club

Tips for helping feral cats in winter

With the cold weather here, many are kindly helping wildlife with food and shelter. It’s good to remember that healthy animals need minimal care, as they’re naturally equipped to stay warm but often need food that is scarce in winter.

Shadow Cats TNR (formerly Best Friends in Harford County) receives many requests for help in caring for community cats. We recommend feeding at set times during daylight hours and only enough to satisfy, not free-feeding since that will attract rodents and other animals such as raccoons. For shelter, cats need just a dry spot, preferably out of the wind, which is why many take up residence under sheds and other outbuildings.

If you want to provide a cat shelter, nothing expensive is required. Any sturdy waterproof container that opens away from the wind will work. Don’t add blankets that will collect water, freeze, and hurt paws and skin; the best, cleanest, and most effective bedding is straw. The animal’s body heat and winter coat will keep it quite warm in a straw bed. You can place a shelter against the base of your house for added warmth if you wish.

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Our organization builds cat shelters from plastic totes lined with Styrofoam and straw and also provides instructions on how to build your own shelter. Visit our Facebook page or website, ShadowCatsTNR.org, for information, or call/text 443-390-6676 to request help.

If you see community cats needing spay/neuter (without an ear tip, or cut across the top of the left ear), contact us. We have “fixed” and vaccinated over 8,000 cats since our nonprofit organization began in 2015. You can help reduce unnecessary suffering by reporting cats needing spay/neuter.

Thank you to all who care for the animals! We are here to help.

Jean Salvatore, Bel Air

Salvatore is President of SHADOW CATS TNR

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