Why this animal control officer spends Thanksgiving locked in a Virginia dog kennel

Posted at 10:31 AM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-24 08:50:58-05

LUNENBURG COUNTY, Va.-- While you are hopefully enjoying turkey and stuffing Thursday, a Lunenburg County animal control officer will spend his holiday inside of a dog kennel.

For the past eight years, Ray Elliott has spent 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day inside this dog run with no food or water. He does it to help raise money and awareness for his rural shelter.

Because Lunenburg is a rural community, Elliott said they are often underfunded and don't have the resources that city shelters may have.

Ray Elliott

Over the course of Ray’s decade of service, he’s worked to decrease animal intake numbers and euthanasia. He's encouraging people to visit him at the shelter on Thanksgiving.
"I don't eat anything during the day because that's the whole point about bringing awareness to you know, animals being abandoned," Elliott said. "They bring dog treats, cat treats, blankets, beds, all that type of stuff. They come by and socialize, give me a well-wishing to thank me for what I'm doing. And like I said, it's not about me personally. I'm just honored to be able to be a voice for our animals."

This year, Elliott has also had the help of students in Lunenburg County's career and technical education program to raise awareness about the importance of responsible pet ownership.

Elliott's goal is to raise $15,000. Click here to help and be sure to mention "Ruffin It" in the donation line.

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