An unbelievably happy ending to a sad collection of stories

We have dealt with several unfortunate experiences at the Kennedy Compound since Greta crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Sept. 21, 2014:

  • Sadee Lew, one of our pugs, got out of our backyard fence on Christmas night. We are still searching for her.
  • One of my sisters died — on our 35th wedding anniversary.
  • One of the finest women I have ever known, a woman I “adopted” as my mama, died a couple weeks later.
  • My nephew’s wife died a month after that.
  • Joey was fired from his job after 33-plus years. His dismissal was due, in part, to betrayals by rescue “friends” we have supported in terms of time and money for several years.

The truth is that 2015 started off pretty sucky.

Spring came, and along with it, the typical renewal of Nature. Luckily, it allowed us to enjoy a renewal as well.

Rescue supporters, most of whom we knew mostly as acquaintances, came to our aid in waves so strong that we could have ridden them on a surfboard. They helped us through emotional devastation we had never experienced before — and hope to never experience again.

They rescued us, and like the animals so many of us rescue, we will be eternally grateful. They saved our lives.

And, they inspired us to start our own journalism website — Animal Advocates of Alabama.

So many of our supporters told us our voice for animals still needed to be heard, that we couldn’t just slink away in defeat. That would let the “bad guys” win — and the animals would be the ones to suffer.

But we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have any money — the company Joey and I gave a combined 60 years of award-winning service to “honored” him with three months of severance. We came dangerously close to losing our home of 16 years, which most likely would have meant losing our pets. Now that would have broken us both.

Angels of mercy — investors who had no ulterior motives other than to keep our voice loud and strong — came to our aid. They helped us set up our website and provided funds to purchase basic materials needed to start a business. They didn’t tell us how to do anything or what to write; they just asked us to keep writing and keep advocating for the animals. (Of course, those “rescue friends” I spoke of earlier don’t believe this, but, quite frankly, I’m gonna pull a Rhett Butler and not give a damn what they say or think.)

So, on May 1, 2015, went live. We are writing — and advocating — for the voiceless among us once again.

And we are ecstatic.

Please visit our website, We’d also be pleased if you’d “Like” our Facebook page, Animal Advocates of Alabama, and “Follow” us on Twitter at @alanimals. And if you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to “Miss Lillian and the Compound” in the space provided on the Home Page of my blog. (It’s free!)

About Veronica

I worked at The Birmingham News for 27 years; during my tenure, I was a feature writer, copy editor, and reporter covering beats from business to community news. Now, my husband, Joey, and I run Animal Advocates of Alabama (, a news and information website that covers animal-related issues throughout the state. We live on Birmingham's Southside with a grumble of pugs, a Calico cat, and a a few other dogs of varying sizes.
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