8 Questions with……….Animal rescuer Karen Jones

Its 1: 15 pm


Welcome to 8 Questions with……

Meet my friend Karen,who is one of the kindest and most compassionate people left on this planet. I have known Karen for several years,she and I met after Lori passed away and she stayed with me as I was getting crushed by grief and loss.  She has donated to Sockvember many times as well donating several times a year to Red Cross,you are getting the idea that Karen is a very caring and generous soul,right?
Karen is also a relentless crusader for animals,all types of animals whether it be a abandoned dog,injured possums,hungry birds or a pocket cheetah like her new cat,Doogie Howser. She gets up early to feed her crew,check her TNR traps,rescues the cats and if possible helps them find a home or if they feral,she’ll get them neutered and released back in their area.
Family is the most important thing to Karen and if you are a friend,you’re family.
I have really enjoyed reading about Karen’s crazy adventures through the years be it a ice storm that led turned a small trip into a multi-hour ride from hell to rooting for her Braves and yes,even losing a few of her rescues and fosters. She has shown me and hundreds of other people around the country what being a caring and loving human being looks like. Simply put,we need a LOT more people like Karen in this world.
I hope you enjoy reading and sharing Karen’s interview as she answers her 8 Questions


 Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I am Karen Jones nee Estes originally from Charlotte, NC but I have been in the Metro Atlanta area since the day Elvis allegedly died. I am married and I have one son who is the light of my life (from my practice marriage). I worked for about 12 years in HR/payroll but in 2016 I was beyond tired of Atlanta traffic and I changed jobs to be closer to home (less miles and less money lol but also way less aggravation from traffic). I work in the preventive maintenance department for a biotechnology company in Kennesaw, GA.  I love all animals but I also love bacon so whatever category that is called – that is where I am. DON’T TOUCH MY BACON!  I am an overly sarcastic person so keep that in mind while reading the rest of my answers.I am a firm supporter of donating blood/platelets at The Red Cross and being an organ donor. If you have doubts about donating organs then you need to do some reading  https://www.donatelife.net/  


 What was it like growing up in your house? Is this how you developed your love for animals?

  My house was cool growing up, my parents are both insane (although I have never had them tested) and they love animals too but they also eat meat.  We had rules and curfews and chores but we also had love.  I would certainly say that my love for animals was developed by watching my parents. I used to make fun of them for birdwatching and bringing home leftovers to feed the possums. Now I do the same thing which makes my son cringe when we go out to eat and I ask for a to-go box so I can feed the critters. So watch out kids – you will become your parents one day! I remember my mom finding an injured owl on the road one night and she wasn’t going to leave it there to suffer so she slipped out of her slip, wrapped up the owl, put it in the car and headed home. Apparently the owl was not hurt because a few miles down the road it hopped up on the steering wheel and watched her drive home. We had plenty of dogs who were saved from the side of the road, dogs who “we are not keeping” but of course ended up staying with us. My dad came across some young flying squirrels and those were brought to our house and released in the backyard. He’d go out at night and call them and they’d come down and eat the peanut butter he set out for them. 
    Non animal related – our house was the hang out for all the cadets in Civil Air Patrol. My parents preferred that we hang out at home with MTV (back when MTV played nothing but music videos) and eat pizza so the kitchen was always stocked. 
   Holidays were always an “eat yourself into a coma and still have plenty to take home to eat for the next 6 months” type of event. Mama T (my mom’s mom) was one of the best cooks on the planet, she loved to cook and she loved to watch people eat what she prepared. This is why my family is incapable of preparing normal size meals lol
    I must mention that having “insane” parents is a lesson in itself. Both of my parents started out at the phone company as linemen, humping poles as they called it. Neither of them have a “can’t do” attitude. They have the “do what you have to do” attitude so I picked up on that a good bit. If something doesn’t work then you try something else, if that doesn’t work then try something else. We aren’t a “one and done” type of family. I think this is how I reached MacGuyver status among my friends – it is 99.9% true that when there’s a will, there’s a way.  I am extremely lucky to have the parents that I have and to have picked up on 1/10 of their knowledge and attitude.  I hope that my son has picked up a lot of that too. 
   I could write a book on this subject but I’m trying to keep it short. Bottom line is that I have the best parents who have taught me a lot of life lessons and above all taught me to always help out if you’re capable of doing so. It cost you absolutely nothing to be kind.


What was your first pet and tell us about it?

The first pet that I can remember was our hamster Cinnamon. Other than watching her roll around in the plastic ball I don’t have a lot of memories. I can’t remember there being a time in my life where there wasn’t a dog or a cat or some fish. I just know life has always included a pet.


How did you meet your husband? What attracted you to him?

This is a loaded question. I met him when I worked part time at Winn Dixie where he was an assistant manager. This is a running joke because I met my first husband when we worked at Kroger together. I ask myself every day what attracted me to him! For starters – he stood out because he is bald and has beautiful blue eyes. We started dating and learned that we both love animals, The Three Stooges, prefer Miracle Whip over mayo and we both hate celery so it was obvious that we were meant to be together.


 How did you get into animal rescue? Did you take any classes or workshops to get trained?

  I wish I knew the answer!!!!!!  I think it all happened by being in the right place at the right time?  No classes or anything like that. Most of it is common sense and thinking back to what my parents did when they came across an animal in need.


 What are some of the big “no-nos” in helping injured animals,especially wildlife?

Do NOT try to make the injured critter become your pet!!!!!!!!! Seek advice on how to keep it comfortable while you find a trained rehabber. Wildlife that has been injured needs to go to rehab and then released back into the wild. While you mean well in what you’re doing, you can actually be causing more harm. So keep it safe and find a rehab facility.


 What have been your three best rescue stories?

Oh gosh – I don’t want to hurt any of their feelings so I will tread lightly. My current foster/rescue is Abby. She came into Getalong Dachshund Rescue: https://www.getalongdachshundrescue.org/our-dogs/   with her sister Zoey in 2017. Zoey was extremely overweight and Abby was mostly blind and deaf. Zoey went on a diet and managed to go from 22.88 pounds down to 11.5 then was adopted. Abby went totally blind and is now a forever foster with me. She and I are extremely bonded and have our own communication skills. 
   Freida Mae who was found in a ditch in rural AL in the rain. She was not claimed at animal control and Getalong Dachshund took her in and treated her infected and swollen mouth which involved removing pretty much every tooth in her head. I left the Sunday before Thanksgiving 2018 to pick her up. My husband woke up early (which is unusual) and asked where I was going. I told him it was an emergency foster, he rolled his eyes and went back to bed. Freida Mae was sooooooo skinny and soooooooooooo cute. She won my husband’s heart when I sent him a picture of her. When I got home he came outside and said “Give her to me” and that was that. We found out a month later that she also had cancer which could not be treated. She put up a great fight though. She was eating better and gaining weight and playing and bossing the cats around. She had my husband wrapped around her paw. She could do no wrong. Sadly we had to say goodbye to her in March just four months after we said hello.
    I can’t leave out Titan because he was the first rescue/foster back in 2001 I believe it was. He was an owner surrender to another rescue group and we took him in. He was quickly adopted to a family in Rhode Island. After getting updates of him in his new home we also asked them to adopt us. Titan had his own beach chair for his beach trips. He went to a great family where he had many happy years. I am friends with his mom to this day.
   Can’t leave out Fonzie who was picked up by animal control and never claimed. The happiest dog on earth! Imagine our surprise when we found out he had a broken jaw! He never showed any sign of pain and he was eating dry food, all while constantly wagging his tail. (I know you asked for three but you’re getting four stories). Fonzie cannot hide under blankets because his wagging tail gives away his location. He was adopted 9 months later and is living the best life ever! When I took him to his new mommy he was greeted with a “Welcome Home” sign, a huge basket of toys and his new pillow and blankets. 


We won’t talk about Doogie………….(“Doogie is pretty awesome!!!”-Paladin the cheetah)


 How do people go from wanting to help animals into becoming the worst animal abusers when they become hoarders? Have you yourself ever worked a hoarder house?

I think for the most part they start out wanting to help and then things spiral out of control and they don’t know how to ask for help. I’ve never been directly involved in a case involving hoarding. 


 Share your opinion about TNR and the pros and cons of the program.

I am no expert in this field so please understand that this is only my opinion which is based on information I have read from numerous sources.Any litter bearing animal will basically self adjust (for lack of a better term) based on population. This is what is happening with coyotes in Georgia, there’s basically an open season on coyotes but the coyotes are now having larger litters and more often. So in my opinion TNR is the lesser of two evils. I was fortunate enough to find a group in my county that provides services for feral cats so I was able to get the feral family all “fixed” and vaccinated for free. So I believe in TNR vs euthanasia. 


 Is your husband also a animal rescuer?

He is guilty by association. He complains about my efforts but he’s still around so…………..he found a kitten in the woods a few years ago and no sign of mama after 8 hours so he brought it home. For me to bottle feed. So he is what I’d call the diet version of a rescuer. He complains about it but he is the first one to steal snuggles from the animal. 


 Do you think Kerri should keep one of her kittens?


  The cheetah and I are flying over to watch your latest possum rescue but we are a day early and now you are playing tour guide,what are we doing?

   Honestly there are so many things to do in and around Atlanta and I rarely do any of them! I prefer to sit on the porch and bird watch and at night watch the critters. But if I were to venture out I’d start off by taking you to breakfast at The Red Eyed Mule in Marietta for the best burger you’ll ever eat! Then perhaps we’d stroll up Kennesaw Mountain for a bit of Civil War History. From there we’d hit Art’s Bagels in Acworth for the best Bronx Bomber bagel sandwich. Squeeze in a trip up the road to Chattanooga, TN to visit Jerry at Opie Acres to learn all about possums (technically Opossum but in the south we just call them possums) https://www.facebook.com/OpossumRescueTn/. The night would for sure include a drag show put on by The Armorettes. All of their tips are donated to HIV & AIDS charities in the Atlanta area. https://www.thearmorettes.com  We aren’t into too much of the tourist things here. We’ve been to the aquarium and to the new Braves stadium but with every passing day we both hate crowds more and more and going anywhere almost always involves traffic! So we either go north or stay at home! 


Oh…..before I forget,if you need a doctor’s note for work or school,Dr. Doogie Howser will write one for either 5.00 or two bags of Temptation treats,your choice.

I like to thank Karen for agreeing to sit and have a chat up. I really love this lady very much and think she is quite amazing.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing more pictures of Doogie as he can continues to cause a ruckus in the Jone’s home.

Karen has a InstaGram page that you can follow here.

Thank you all for your continued support and please feel free to drop a comment below.

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