Thursday, July 01, 2010
Happily Ever After
Lake author provides refuge to rescued animals
Skim the romantic fiction shelves in a bookstore and you may spot the name Inglath Cooper among the authors. Drawn to the world of words, stories and characters since childhood, the Penhook resident was sure she would find her calling as a writer.
And in addition to weaving together the stories of her heroes and heroines, Cooper labors so that abandoned, neglected and abused animals can have their own happily ever after.
“I always wanted to be a writer. I devoured books growing up,” said Cooper. “At some point along the way I decided I might try to write one.”
and that turned into a few more and a few more. Cooper is the author of nine
Harlequin novels and one novella and continues to pen popular reads from her
“I love a great story, but I also like to know the characters. I’ll always write a character-driven story, heavy on the mother-daughter relationship, man-woman relationship,” she said.
she recently took up song-writing. For two years, she has been co-writing with
music industry professionals in
“Writing fiction is such a solitary thing; co-writing has been a nice change. Different people bring different skills to the table and when you combine them you can do amazing things,” said Cooper. “I’ve worked on mostly country, some pop music.”
When Cooper isn’t writing literature or lyrics, she is caring for four daughters and supporting her husband’s Franklin County-based business, Uttermost, an international distributor of home furniture accessories.“I grew up in
After their marriage, she and high school sweetheart Mac bought a farm of their own at SML.
Eventually, the Cooper residence became a refuge for abused and neglected animals.
“I’ve had a
heart for pet rescue all my life. About five or six years ago I became aware of
what was going on at the
At the encouragement
of a friend, Cooper decided to get involved, joining other concerned citizens
to organize a substantial pet rescue effort. Their work produced a new no-kill
facility for the Franklin County Humane Society, The Planned Pethood Clinic and
Donna Essig, Franklin County Humane Society President, said the facility made an immediate difference.
“There was a huge need, but we were limited to what we could do until we had the facility and volunteer effort we have now,” said Essig. “Now, we tend to be the central place for anything to do with animals in the county. Every day we have people coming in or calling and asking for help with either a stray or a pet. We’ve had over 300 dogs and over 100 cats so far this year.”
Essig said Cooper puts her whole heart into her volunteer work. At almost any time, more than a dozen rescued dogs are cared for at the Cooper home.
“It really is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done,” Cooper said. “To see a dog come into your home fearful and afraid and each day they see they’re safe and someone’s caring for them, they just blossom.”
With the combined efforts of the county shelter and groups such as the Franklin County Humane Society and Roanoke-based Angels of Assisi, Cooper said the county’s euthanasia rate has dropped considerably.
it is at zero percent for all adoptable animals, it won’t be low enough,” said
Cooper, noting that teamwork is the key to the pet rescue effort’s success.
“I went in thinking we have to find a solution, but really you just have to be a link,” she said. “When one person steps in to do what they can, then others will join them. It’s a chain of kindness.”