Barbara Swygart

Amy and Raymond FinneyBarbara Swygart of Sewanee is the first to star in our donor spotlight. Barbara donated to the new shelter to name one of the cat hold cages in memory of her parents, Raymond and Amy Finney. Mr. and Mrs. Finney were great animal lovers, and Barbara recounts the many pets her family had as she was growing up:
Many of our pets were wayfarers seeking better homes. There was our dog Pepper -- so thin when he came but not staying that way long. He loved to play hide-and-seek with us children. Mother held his eyes while we hid, and then he would find us.
There were Big Kit and Little Kit, two tuxedo kitties who came years apart but were like twins. There was Daddy's special cat-- black without a single white hair. There was Donella, a beautiful gray chicken who would get in the back seat of our car and lay an egg on an old blanket. We bought her ears of corn and gave her watermelon slices. There was the beautiful golden cat, Champ. Mother was almost totally deaf, and Champ was her ears, alerting her when the telephone or the doorbell rang. After Mother passed away, Champ never went back into the house.
There was Sir Tiger, a brilliant silver tabby. He belonged to Dr. and Mrs. Gilchrist who lived across the street. They left one summer with Dr. and Mrs. Dugan to feed him. Tiger came over to taste Pepper's food. He never left, and soon he was eating the choicest cat food. When I went to college, my parents gave me a mug with a gray cat on it which said "Home is where the cat is." When my boyfriend from college (now husband) came to visit, Tiger wasn't pleased and always sat between us on the sofa and at the table.
"I want to stress the importance of loving and caring for your pet," Barbara writes. "When I was little, veterinarians did not want to bother with small animals and concentrated on farm animals. What a pity. I also knew people who lived nearby who were extremely cruel to animals. I never failed to let them know it. The Lord loves animals; he made them first. Anyone who is cruel to animals will also be mean to people."
Barbara has honored her parents and their love for animals and Animal Harbor is grateful for her gift in their memory.It is because of people like Barbara Swygart that our  dream of a new shelter has become a reality. We have raised $527,000 towards our total goal of $600,000 and are still seeking donations to complete the goal. For more information on making a donation and the naming opportunities still available, call Gail Castle at 931-636-0388.

 If you have any questions, or would like more information on our Capital Campaign, please send an email to, or call our Development Officer, Gail Castle, at 931-636-0388.