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HomeArtHernando Mother and Daughter Publish Animal Rescue Fundraiser Book

Hernando Mother and Daughter Publish Animal Rescue Fundraiser Book

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Two years ago, the Hernando mother-daughter creative team of Christy Perdue and Haley Brabant enlightened a vast audience with a book about special needs, “Different Just Like You.” Now, this talented duo has turned their focus to another important topic: animal rescue. A moving yet whimsical story about animals helping other animals, “Love is the Answer,” was published on June 11.

Much like their previous effort, this brightly illustrated children’s book- the ‘tail’ of rescue animals who rescue other animals—is a labor of love for the mother/author and daughter/illustrator.
“We have recently partnered with a local dog rescue, Ziggy’s Legacy, in Brooksville—operated by Dr. Raul and Mandy Figarola—and written a children’s book about rescuing animals,” said Perdue.

Mandy Figarola, whose family rescue saves thousands of animals each year, feels that–beyond serving as a prime fundraising tool for her rescue—the book is a teaching tool for future generations.

“For us, the book is more about teaching children about rescue than what it does for the rescue,” said Mandy Figarola. “I believe that any hope at all for changing animal welfare in this country will be with the next generation. We wanted it to be a fun story with a deep meaning, so children ask questions and are motivated to do better than we have for these animals.”

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A devoted pet parent herself, Perdue regards this project as a highly personal endeavor. “I take my pets to [a local animal clinic] in Brooksville. The owners started a rescue and I started following them on Facebook,” she said. “The amount of time, money and love they poured into this rescue melted my heart. They do so much for our community and others, I wanted to give back.”

And for an activist author like Perdue, giving back is always done ‘by the book.’ “I asked about a fundraiser where I could sell my most recent book (If Pets Had Pets) and give proceeds to Ziggy’s Legacy,” she said. “Mandy (the owner) told me they didn’t accept cash donations but had a better idea. She asked if I could write a book about the rescue and a few dogs she holds close to her heart: Ziggy, Steel and Sol. I loved it and got to work on it that day.”

Perdue is a devoted animal lover. “I am a pet parent,” she declared. We have three dogs: Nâvi (a Great Pyrenees), Odessa (a black-mouth cur), Scout (a super mut: pit bull, boxer, Labrador, German shepherd, Chow Rottweiler mix), Rebel (a black cat), and Sasuke (a leopard gecko). All but the gecko were rescued. I follow and try to support several rescues.”

Another great passion in Perdue’s life takes the form of the written word. “I love to write and I want my writing to mean something and make an impact,” she said. “This seemed like a perfect opportunity to do just that while giving back to people who selflessly give so much of themselves.”

Perdue felt divinely inspired to write “Love is the Answer,” which took only two days to write.
“I was so excited about getting this book done. I think it only took two days to write,” said Perdue. “The illustrating is the hard part. It takes months. Haley, the illustrator (and my daughter), worked nonstop on this book for almost three months.”

The book offers a strong message about the power of love in protecting and preserving all creatures, great and small. “I hope people take away Mandy’s constant message of love being the answer. The world has a lot of anger, sadness, and frustration. Many times, animals are the first to suffer from humans’ bad decisions, negligence, and ignorance, whatever the case may be. The answer isn’t to combat hate with more hate,” said Perdue. “The answer is to help where you can by saving animals in need, educating people about animal health, overbreeding, preventing abuse/neglect, bringing awareness to the animal rescue crisis across the country, and chipping in to help however possible (with supplies, fostering, volunteering, sharing information), and doing so with love.”

“As the three characters in this book quickly discover after sneaking out to rescue those in need,” she said, “love is always the answer.”

Meet the creative team behind “Love is the Answer” at a book signing from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming, Lakewood Plaza, 4393 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. Bring your pups, get goodies for kids, sign up for raffle prizes, and meet the author and illustrator, Dr. Fig and Mandy, and two animals who inspired characters featured in the book. The book will be on sale. The event is free to attend. Proceeds go to Ziggy’s Legacy Rescue.

On Thursday, July 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Marker 48 Brewery, 12147 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, a “Love is the Answer” book signing event will be dog-friendly and family-friendly. It will offer prize raffles, books for sale, and goodies for kids. This free event will feature special appearances from the author and illustrator, the animals featured in the book and Doc and Mandy. Proceeds go to Ziggy’s Legacy.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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