Defenders of Animals vigil draws large crowd


On Aug. 15, Defenders of Animals held its annual Humane Heroes Award Ceremony as part of the Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil at the Sprague Mansion in Cranston. There were approximately 80 people in attendance, making this year’s vigil one of the largest yet held.

“The Homeless Animals Day/Candlelight Vigil is about keeping the Rhode Island dog and cat populations down so that cats and dogs will not have to be destroyed or left without homes,” said Dennis Tabella, director of Defenders of Animals. “That’s done through spaying/neutering and adopting from local animal shelters. We want people to adopt locally and not buy from pet stores, breeders, or adopt animals from out of state. We have an opportunity to make Rhode Island a no-kill state, but it’s not going to happen unless we can get a handle on these factors.”

Special guest speakers included state Rep. Charlene Lima, who represents District 14 in Cranston and Providence and serves as deputy speaker.

Other award recipients were state Rep. Joseph Solomon of Warwick, Keith Swerling, Sue and Harry Parker and Michelle Cantini of Cranston.

Cantini received an award for her years of rescuing animals. She is dedicated, determined and fearless when it comes to animal rescue. She has been a volunteer at the Scituate pound for 12 years and has proved that she will do anything humanly possible for the benefit of these creatures. Her free time is spent walking and washing dogs, evaluating potential homes, or performing any of the countless tasks requested by the animal control officer.

Cantini has developed her own registered nonprofit animal rescue group, which she has named “recious Angels Animal Rescue.

Playing and singing that evening was the band Scarlett.

“Our message is simple. There are some great dogs and cats sitting in our local shelters. There is no need to buy from a pet store, breeder, or import an animal from out of state, because every time someone does that, it takes a home away from a dog or cat that has been sitting in a Rhode Island shelter,” said Tabella.


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