January 24, 2012
Kim and Karen O'Donnell have really been an inspiration to me and to my family and many, many others. They are the most unselfish people I have ever met in my life. I will never ever forget when I first met them after hearing about their rescue of a dog who was left on the side of the road after being hit by a car. The poor innocent soul was left to die. When the O'Donnell's came across this special dog they immediately went into action. They were not and still are not wealthy people, yet that took that innocent precious animal to the vet and October was theirs! They since sold the home they once had and have built an animal rescue in Eagle Mountain. At first they went up against a lot of opposition with other people in the neighbourhood who did not want them there, but they continued to be kind and respectful neighbours themselves and have become an important part of Eagle Mountain, Utah County and the whole country in my eyes. They sacrifice day in day out without complaint. Kim has to be on oxygen because of medical reasons but will not ever give up on the animals in their care who they refer to as their "kids" and when they say "our kids" they mean it whole heartedly, they ARE their kids. They work around the clock with very little sleep caring for so many different animals who would otherwise be in dire straits. I was over there one day for a few hours with my daughter and we did very little in comparison to the O'Donnell's. Karen is of small frame yet she hauls hay, climbs fences, builds fences, tackles naughty goats!! She is a kind soul as is Kim her husband. What an inspiration. My own daughter told me that she hopes she will find someone exactly like Kim some day to be her husband. A lot can be said for someone who is a strong man who could be out with his buddies at night, but instead is side by side with his wife caring for all kinds of animals. They have very little for themselves. Their entire house is dedicated to the animals. They time I was there they had a dog who was wearing a diaper who they had to carry in and out. There was another who had been abandoned on the streets who was so week she couldn't stand on her back legs. They nursed her back to health. The animals clearly love them. Sometimes they even have to (as they say) send some on their way to Heaven, humanely of course with a kind vet who volunteers there and they are with them as they leave this world and they feel the devastation and loss that some people don't even feel when a human dies. They are totally committed to what they do, it's their life. Each morning Kim drives quite a distance to a store that donates food they would otherwise be throwing out which he then brings home and they cut it up and feed it to the animals. They don't get to stay inside in the warm when it is raining or snowing or boiling hot outside. They carry on and make sure each an every animal has a loving place to be, to be safe and cared for. They have inspired me so much. They need volunteers there as much as possible, but they have to do so much by themselves, almost everything, like I said without complaint. Just recently after a huge snow storm their farm area got flooded, it was Karen's birthday, but she wouldn't have that on her mind........Karen was out digging trenches. They are life savers and there has to be a special place in Heaven for those two. I plan to go and help them more this year and I hope that others will too because once you have been there and have met them and their "kids" you will leave feeling that with people like that in this world there is still hope, hope that people can be kinder and more gentle and show unconditional love and these animals do to us. Even abused animals are so forgiving of those that have harmed them. The O'Donnell's are a blessing the this world. Thank you for reading this. Jackie Ballif
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