Former Americus city leader to travel country raising money for Humane Society

Former Americus city leader to travel country raising money for Humane Society
Ruth Olson, Director of Sumter Humane Society
Ruth Olson, Director of Sumter Humane Society
Laura Lee Bernstein and CoCo
Laura Lee Bernstein and CoCo

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - The former Chief Administrative Officer of Americus is about to embark on a cross-country journey to raise money for the Sumter County Humane Society.

The Bittersweet Cafe hosted a sendoff party for Laura Lee Bernstein. She says she felt compelled to help find homes for abandoned animals.

Coffee lovers in Americus enjoyed a cappuccino or an espresso as they said goodbye to Laura Lee Bernstein. She's about to set out on a 48 state, 45-day road trip.

" I'm going to touch base with Humane Societies, and cities as I come through to educate everyone about Humane Societies in need for donations and volunteers," said Laura Lee Bernstein.

The former city leader is raising money for a rescue program for the Sumter Humane Society to find homes for animals.

"I couldn't do as much in that role, being locked into the city government and so when I resigned from that position I decided well maybe I can help out in a different way when I'm just an average citizen," said Bernstein.

"With Laura Lee's help, now I've got extra funds so that I can save way more lives than I've ever been able too before," said Ruth Olson, Director of Sumter Humane Society.

Olson says finding these homeless animals homes is an ever-growing problem.

"I'll get in 100 animals a month in this small community which is a lot and we maybe adopt out 10 to 25," said Olson.

The shelter has partnered with two rescue shelters in Maine.

"I've got one rescue that comes twice a month and they just bring a van and they load up everything under a year old that I have," said Olson.

Another rescue organization will take heartworm positive dogs.

"Maine is pulling all of these animals because they spay and neuter up there," said Olson.

Bernstein isn't traveling alone, she's going with CoCo, a decoy coyote.

"He's going to go with me the whole way," said Bernstein. "It's really to draw attention to the cause."

They're selling "Where's CoCo t-shirts" and have already raised more than a thousand dollars. Bernstein's goal is $10,000.

Bernstein will share pictures featuring CoCo at landmarks around the country. She heads to Tallahassee in the morning and hopes to be back home in Americus by July 1st. You can donate to the cause by clicking here.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.