Jackie Bell’s love for animals is legendary in Evergreen and she is one of the most beloved and respected residents in our mountain community. Jackie is the current president of the Evergreen Animal Protection League.
She’s been president somewhere between 15 and 20 years. She’s too busy taking care of all these animals to really keep track of the exact year. Jackie laughed as she reminisced about her history with this vital community group. She’d been asked to fill in for founder Suzie deDisse, who needed to take a leave of absence; and a couple of decades later, Jackie is still the backbone behind the many wonderful activities of the EAPL.
Several years ago, she was honored for her leadership, vision, and organizational abilities with EAPL by receiving the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Volunteer Award. The event was packed with her exuberant volunteers as well as well-wishers from the entire community, many who had personally benefited from her generous investment of time and commitment to the cats and dogs of the area.
Jackie is passionate about the tremendous impact that EAPL has had on our community. This organization is a nonprofit organization with a board of directors and numerous volunteers who act as foster parents to many dogs and some cats while EAPL looks for a permanent home for these animals.
EAPL raises funds so that the foster parents receive their foster pets with all shots being up to date, and the animals having already received any necessary medical care. EAPL also provides all food and medicine for the animals while they are in transition. This makes it possible for more people to be able to volunteer because they can concentrate on providing TLC for these needy animals rather than being derailed by the cost of getting the animals up to speed for permanent adoption.
Jackie reports that the needs in the community for this service have grown exponentially since the recent economic downturn started in 2008. Many people in Evergreen and the surrounding area have lost jobs and had to move out of their homes. Often these people end up moving into apartments or rental homes that do not allow pets. The pet owners are often devastated to have to give up their pets. EAPL works very hard to help the pet owners keep their dogs by providing for temporary food and vet care if it seems that the family may be able to regain ability to care for their pet. In other cases, the volunteers provide foster care while trying to find a new permanent home if that is necessary. It is a great solace to these pet owners to know that EAPL will be working hard to find loving new homes for their beloved pets.
All this costs money and Jackie is proud of several efforts that EAPL is doing to raise revenues for this worthwhile cause. The EAPL Thrift Shop on Meadow Drive and Oktober Pets in September. You can also say Hi to Jackie by dropping by the weekly Farmers’ Market in Bergen Park each week during summer and early fall. EAPL has a booth and Jackie is almost always there with a several adorable dogs to enjoy.
Jackie and her husband Bill, a retired attorney turned ardent squash player, moved to Evergreen 40 years ago and love their home among the pine and aspens in Evergreen Meadows.