Graham has put a call out to local companies to donate items to be raffled off, and is happy that Rocky Top Furniture has obliged.
"They've donated a bed, any bed to be picked out by the winner. That's a great prize, and I hope we can get other companies to help," Graham says. "We'll take anything. One woman has donated candles to be given away."
"First of all, Tommy and I have a strong love for animals," said Gwen Mitchell about herself and her husband, co-owners of Rocky Top Furniture.
Mitchell feels it's their responsibility as community members to pitch in and help where they can.
"We have a strong tie to Garrard, and we want to help the community grow. I hope more people will see this as their responsibility and help, too," Mitchell said. She knows the struggles the shelter has endured.
"What Sharon takes on by herself to do, I just can't imagine. Compared to what she does, we don't think it's a large contribution. It's the least we can do," Mitchell said.
Graham sits in her office, and points to the attached room.
"As you can see," she says, referring to where the cats are housed, "they have no daylight, and no ventilation. We really need some help."
Three adult cats and six kittens purr, meow and stretch their paws outside cages for attention. One fluffy house cat, given up due to scratching his prior owner's couch, licks fingers stuck inside his cage.
No let up in animal turnover
When Skylar's mom, Jennifer, called to tell her about the benefit, Graham was astonished.
"I couldn't believe someone so young taking so much initiative to help on her own. It's amazing," Graham says. The animal turnover in the shelter hasn't let up, she says.
"As soon as we have an animal adopted out or returned home, more come in," Graham says. People also are dropping dogs and cats off at the shelter without contacting anyone first.
"We found two dogs chained to the fence out here one day, and they'd gotten tangled up with each other. Those two kittens were left at the door inside a taped box, and so was a momma dog with her seven pup babies ..." Graham goes on.
She picks up three sheets of paper sitting on her desk and thumbs through them. These are calls Graham says she needs to return about lost, abused or found animals, which is hard to do with one person on staff.
"If I had to create a wish list, of course I'd want a full-time person in here to help me, but I'd be tickled with a part-timer," Graham says. "You can make it as pretty as you want, but if you don't have enough manpower, it's almost impossible to keep up."