There are few things in life that break my heart faster than seeing an animal in need. I may not be able to devote my life to saving pets who are in trouble, but thankfully there are people like this week's Hometown Hero, Stephanie Hicks of Rockford, who can.

Provided Photo
Provided Photo
loading...

If you're an animal lover too, I'm sure you already like and follow C.A.R.E. for P.E.T.S. on Facebook. In case you aren't familiar with all the good this volunteer organization does for pets and families in Winnebago County, let me give you a brief explanation from their website;

C.A.R.E. for P.E.T.S. is committed to raising funds to benefit the pets in underserved areas of Winnebago County. Funds directly support pet retention efforts, health and vaccine clinics and spay / neuter programming.

Honestly, I don't think that description really does all the amazing work C.A.R.E. for P.E.T.S. does justice, but this nomination letter from Suzy Theisen of Loves Park, Illinois certainly does;

Stephanie is a perfect nominee because she devotes most of her time to helping animals in need. Her organization gives families the opportunity to take care of their pets and give them the lives they deserve. They have given many families free donations in order to properly take care of their pet. Their multiple volunteers sacrifice their time and delicate it to cats and dogs all over the Winnebago Co. And they work very hard to prevent shelter intake. They recently donated over $6000 dollars to family that lost everything they owned in a tragic house fire. Care for pets helped them get back on their feet and payed for their pets medical bills in full for nothing in return. This just shows how selfless this organization is and how much they give to the community. Especially for being strictly donation based

I feel I must also warn you now that the stories C.A.R.E. for P.E.T.S. share do not always have happy endings and will often break your heart. This is exactly why they need you to donate to their mission by clicking here now.

Besides naming Stephanie Hicks this week's Hometown Hero, we are also giving her a $100 Amazon gift card thanks to Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress in respectful appreciation for all her hard work and devotion to the pets and families of this community. Stephanie, we know you will probably fill now fill your Amazon cart with pet toys and treats, but could please sneak something nice in there for yourself too? You certainly deserve it!

Do you know someone like Stepanie Hicks that goes above and beyond for this community? Nominate them as next week's Hometown Hero, here.

Past Hometown Hero Award Winners

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.