Animal Control Officer Skips Thanksgiving, Spends Time in a Kennel to Help Families Afford Spay/Neuter

An animal control officer in Lunenburg County, Virginia, will be skipping Thanksgiving festivities this year. Rather than spending time surrounded by friends and family, Ray Elliott, ACO for the Lunenburg County Animal Control, will be locked up inside of a kennel run at the shelter facility.

Elliott is sacrificing his time with loved ones in order to help low-income families be able to afford spay/neuter surgeries for their pets. According to the Southside SPCA, on Thanksgiving night, ACO Elliott will forgo a turkey dinner, skip out on a plethora of desserts, and bypass family conversation and games to sleep inside of a dog kennel without a bed, blanket, food or other “luxuries.”

ACO Elliott’s goal for this unique fundraiser is to raise $12,000 ($1,000 per dog kennel), as well as awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering pets. He told WTVR News “We see a lot of animals that are just dumped or not taken care of. Our job, we take it home with us, we’re on call 24/7.” He added, “I wanted to do something eye-catching – I am going to stay in a kennel, not on a sofa, but a plastic crate.”


Shortly before Elliott’s stay in the kennel, his wife Kristi wrote a Facebook post about her husband’s sacrifice:

“As we get ready to prepare our Thanksgiving dinner, set the table and say the blessing we will be missing one! For the first time in 20 years I won’t have my amazing husband by my side. Instead he will be unselfishly giving of his/our time for an awesome cause. He will be locked in the Animal Shelter in a kennel for 12 hours with just a bottle of water. He is doing this to raise awareness of the desperate need to spay/neuter your pets! The amount of homeless animals is unbelievable! Ray will be enduring the loneliness of the kennel, no food, only water. There will be no bed only a concrete floor. This is what the animals have in the shelter. PLEASE DONATE TO THIS WONDERFUL CAUSE!!!!!



According to the Southside SPCA, all donations are tax-deductible.

Donations can be made on-line at or by mail (Checks/Money Orders payable to Southside SPCA) P.O. Box 66, Meherrin, VA 23954.  Specify ‘Ray’s Campaign’ with your gift.


Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. nita hemeter says:

    He is a hero… thank you…

  2. Gwendalina Carrera says:

    What an angel! If we all did our part (spay or neuter ONE all our pets ) we would not have the tragedy of 13,000,000 being put down in shelters every year. If you love your pet, get it spayed!

  3. Shawn Valcarcel says:

    Such an unselfish act of helping. So happy to hear this.

  4. Diane Davisin says:

    Wonderful! If all ACOs were like this we could solve the homeless animal problem. Thank you sir!

  5. ROSE GAUTHIER says:


  6. ardenghi marco says:

    Grande un uomo fantastico

  7. Aimee Sadler says:


  8. Teri Logsdon says:

    If more people like this took their job to heart as this man we wouldn’t have homeless animals in shelters long. What a hero!!

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