Norma Couture: Guardian for Animals
by Danielle Cookish
When Norma Couture was growing up, she and her siblings brought home any animal they could; rabbits, turtles, squirrels, and others. “My poor mom,” she laughed. Her father, an animal lover, taught the kids that “we needed to go back to where we’d found them and let them go.”
Norma and her husband Donald are former Pioneer Valley residents who retired to Florida eight years ago with their pet Rikki, who she describes as having “the gentlest personality of any cat I’ve ever had.” For more than 10 years, at Christmas time and Rikki’s birthday, the couple would send their contribution to Dakin. “I told Rikki, ‘This is your present, you’re helping other animals,’” Norma said.
Recently she and Donald became Guardian Society members by setting a monetary level of their choice and authorizing that amount to be directed to Dakin monthly via credit card. “My sister influenced me,” Norma recalled. “She doesn’t have pets but loves animals and became a Guardian for her local humane society. Also, I always read What’s Shakin’ at Dakin, and other things I get from Dakin, so I know how much they do for animals. I know how expensive it is to keep my own pet, and it’s much more expensive to take care of so many other animals.”
Many of Dakin’s programs and services resonate with Norma, including the Kitten Street Team and Dakin’s vaccine clinics because “a lot of folks can’t afford veterinary care.” She appreciates the Pet Food Aid Program because “everyone should have a pet. Everyone deserves a pet.”
According to Norma, her desire to give monthly comes from her belief that “all animals are wonderful and they need a voice. We need to be their voice. I love having a pet because they’re loving companions. They’re soulful and they enrich your life.”
As a member of the Dakin Guardian Society, Norma knows that her ongoing contribution helps Dakin create a better community for animals and those who love and care for them. “With a set amount of money, Dakin can know how much they can expand programs, and how far they can reach into the community to help,” Norma explained. “For me, it makes me feel better connected, more tied to the organization.”When you become a Dakin Guardian, you get to set a monthly amount that works for you that can be automatically charged to your credit card. Please join us today to show your love of animals all year long.