Anne O’Flaherty’s Devotion To God’s Creatures Unwavering
By Ed Pierce, Managing Editor // December 29, 2013
CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN
‘What Makes Me Happy the Most Is Seeing An Animal Adopted Out’
It would be hard to find a greater friend to abandoned and unwanted animals on the Space Coast than Anne O’Flaherty. Her devotion to God’s creatures is unwavering and has led to her selection as one of the 2012 Central Florida Humanitarians of the Year.
Over the years she has raised and befriended many cats, and now retired from her job as a stockbroker on Wall Street, she continues to do her part as a volunteer for the Central Brevard Humane Society.
However, to call O’Flaherty a volunteer doesn’t quite do justice to the designation. She is a true benefactor of time and financial help for the shelter, a comforting presence for many frightened abandoned pets, a cheerleader on behalf of numerous shelter fundraisers, and a recruiter that spreads the word about the benefits of assisting helpless animals.
She takes small dogs out for walks from their cages at the shelter, helped launch its low-cost spay and neuter clinics, and pays for the feeding of feral cats all over Brevard County.
She gives of herself three days a week–sometimes more–doing whatever is need at the Central Brevard Humane Society Shelter in Cocoa. Entering a room full of shelter pets, O’Flaherty’s smile alerts the animals that a genuine friend has arrived to dispense treats, toys and a loving touch of someone who cares about their situation.
“I’ve always had such a love of animals,” O’Flaherty said. “I’m a very sensitive person and I feel the animal’s pain of neglect and abandonment. They are such wonderful little creatures and offer unconditional love. How could I not want to help them?”
For the past four years since moving here, she has made a difference at the shelter and also given an 8-year-old Yorkie named Molly a loving home. Along with her husband, Tony O’Flaherty, Anne has made it her mission to bring awareness to the community about the plight of the shelter’s animals.
“The Central Brevard Humane Society doesn’t receive tax dollars,” she said. “They pay for food, water, housing and medical care all through donations. These are animals that have been dumped or abandoned and some have been there a long time. It’s expensive to take care of them and without the public’s help they could not afford to do it. These animals are getting a second chance.”
When an animal does get adopted from the shelter, O’Flaherty said she is thrilled.
“I have a wonderful life and everything I need, but what makes me happy the most is seeing an animal adopted out.”
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The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 40 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, MPAC ACO, Community Credit Union, Kindred Hospital, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A NOMINATION for the 2014 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com