UPDATE: Law firm helping animal shelter

By Chris Dickerson | Nov 10, 2014

CHARLESTON – A Charleston law firm has helped the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association get some dogs adopted.

Last week when the shelter was over capacity, Brooks West of The West Law Firm decided to sponsor the adoption of 20 dogs as well as pledge an additional $1,000 in matching donations.

“We got an overwhelming result on Facebook where many people pledged to adopt,” West said. “We had close to 500 shares and 1,200 likes on our blog post. So it appears that many people are interested in supporting the shelter's no-kill policy and the animals that were threatened by over-crowding.”

West said shelter officials contacted him asking for help because he and the firm have done similar work before.

“We’ve done a few similar things with them in the past,” he said. “Once, we sponsored the adoption of some large dogs because they seem to be the hardest for the shelter to adopt out.”

West said he was inspired to first contact the shelter because of his lifelong love of animals and the shelter’s recent switch to being a no-kill facility.

“When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet,” he said. “But I was allergic to some animals, particularly cats.

“I see this as a way to, now that I am in a position to help, give back in some way. It’s good for us at the firm, and it’s good for the people we can help, too.”

West did share a story from one of the people who took advantage of his sponsoring support.

“I want to personally thank you for sponsoring the fee to adopt my Magic Johnson from the shelter,” Sherry Durst wrote to West. “He is wonderful and has settled in great.

“This came at a very special time for me as my husband was just sent on a deployment that was not expected. Someone had to drop out at last minute due to medical reasons, and we had less than a week to prepare for my husband’s departure. That left our normally low funds depleted due to necessary things he had to take plus spending money so I would not have had the extra funds to adopt.

“I am alone out a country road so having Magic is giving me a feeling of peace that I didn't have and will now have until his return next year.

“God Bless you all. I consider this my Christmas present as I will be alone without my husband this year. Me and Magic will now deck the halls.”

As of Friday afternoon, Tambra Cheman, director of development for the Humane Association said all 20 of West’s sponsored adoptions had taken place. She also said they reached West’s $1,000 donation challenge mark.

Cheman said West's support means "everything" to the shelter.

"It's helping us save more lives," she said. "It shows the community's support so we can get our animals adopted. It allows us to leverage animals with adopters.

"We are very thankful to have his continued help and support."

Cheman said the shelter still is in need of puppy pads, kitty litter and pet medicines.

For his part, West said he sees his firm’s support of the shelter as a public service in more ways than just the obvious.

“We’ve all seen tons of personal injury lawyer ads and, let’s be honest, a lot of them are annoying,” he said. “My philosophy is that this is a way to help the community, obviously. We help the shelter, the animals and the people who can take advantage of our help and adopt animals.

“Personally, I’d rather spend my money doing something like this than on advertisements. And I hope maybe some other lawyers will do the same.”

Cheman said she hopes that takes place.

"We are very appreciative of the support form West Law Firm for their generosity and passion for animals so that we could offer these free adoptions," she said. "Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a passionate community to save the animals."

She said if other businesses are interested in getting involved with helping the shelter, they can call her at 304-342-1576, ext. 131. Help includes anything from animal sponsorships and donations to adopting and fostering animals to even sponsoring upcoming shelter events such as the Spring Fling.

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