Carbon County Friends of Animals


I was invited to attend a fundraising event in July that turned into a life-threatening ordeal. Ok, I may be embellishing the danger level a tad, but to have a killer snake and an 80 pound alligator in your lap in one day is a near death experience to me.

Cute Kittens and Pups? Think again.

It was the Carbon County Friends of Animals led by Donna L. Crum, together raising money for local rescue organizations that work to find homes for animals that have been rescued or are in a shelter slated for certain doom. I walked onto the scene thinking it was just another adopt a pet day, when I saw it, certain death out of the corner of my eye, THE ALLIGATOR. “What the heck is going on?”, I thought to myself as I tried gathering my composure in front of the crowd. I continued on the tour with local and #TheSilentGiver herself, Sue Anthony, lifelong resident of Lehighton, PA, now living in Franklin, always turning my head to keep that alligator in sight. I mean really an alligator, in a park, on the loose? Ok, it was on a leash, BUT STILL.

After the tour my fear of reptiles was clearly written all over my face, which Donna, the local Animal Cruelty Officer, read and therefore decided to make me overcome my 48-year fear of snakes.

In the Limelight…While Holding a Snake

So there it is, the reason for the challenge and the video below, my brush with death. To overcome my fear Donna said, “Will, if you want my picture you have to hold the snake, come on”. “Ya right,” I said to myself as I followed her to the reptile enclosures, where she’s got another thing comin’. Of course a crowd gathered, hearing a story is being written about the event and a challenge has been made. Just my luck.

There I stand with kids all around me as I shake in my boots looking at a rescued Albino Ball Python, about to be set in my hands. OMG! I am deathly afraid of snakes, from my childhood, problem now is that there were 6 and 7 year olds standing in line waiting to hold it, so I had to man up and go with it.

You can see the fear in my eyes in the video as I turn to a pigtailed 6 year old girl saying, “hey mister, can I hold the snake”? Now as this is happening a chair is being set behind me as think oh good they can see I’m about to die, it happens. I sit down, handing off the snake ready to take a breather when from behind they bring Apollo the Alligator out and set it directly on my lap. I nearly died. Apollo was rescued 7 years ago and is fully trained and acclimated to kids and events like this, but still it’s a dinosaur and it’s mouth was NOT TAPED. We’ve all seen the videos, I’ll save the bloody details.

I did survive the ordeal and did overcome a huge fear, and was able to cross off the one thing I thought I never would from my bucket list, hold an adult alligator, in my lap.

Now you’re asking, “So you almost died, but who benefited?”

Enough about me on with the charity event. There were about 15 rescue or fundraising outfits on hand to raise both awareness to the number of pets needing adoption, and funds necessary to run their organizations.

Well, there was a reason to have the alligator there that day – it was to educate the local pet owners and activists on proper care for reptiles that are brought home as pets. Apollo the Alligator was rescued by police in an abandoned house left certainly to die. He was brought to Christina’s Reptile & Animal Sanctuary and raised to become an international celebrity, even having his own Facebook page boasting over 2,500 followers, and now one more.

Donna, #TheSilentGiver, ( right: with Mom ) organizes a day like this to help The Friends of Animals activists twice a month in an effort to increase donations and provide a day of fun for the family. This event was hosted by the Carbon County Friends of Animals and the Animal Shelter of Carbon County and in honor of the seventh annual Rockin’ Rescue.

Rockin’ Rescue brings together animal care education and resources for a day full of music, food and family fun. All proceeds from the event benefit CCFOA’s animal cruelty fund and the Animal Shelter of Carbon, a nonprofit, private organization that assists handicapped animals by making wheelchairs and other animal needs.There were local vendors on hand to feed the masses, games, a clown, 8 live bands played throughout the day and even a pony ride for the kids.

What a fantastic thing this lifetime giver is doing for her community, my hats off to you Donna, Christina’s Reptile and Animal Sanctuary, Rockin’ Rescue and the vendors for a great day of food, fun and charity.

To find out more about CCFOA and the organizations it supports go to for details. You too can be a #SilentGiver by donating to this fantastic cause. To help out Christina’s Reptile Sanctuary you can find them on FB @christinassanctuary or to donate.

About William F. Mullins

Recommended for you

Stay in the Loop!
Sign up to receive the latest updates and giveaways!