Ozzy’s Fund, The Carrie Johnson Wheeler Endowment Fund for Animal Welfare
Supporting Your Passion
“It was the best wrong turn I ever made.” says Carol Wheeler as she begins the tale of how she rescued her beloved pet, Ozzy. Returning to Macon several years ago, she got off Interstate 75 and turned the wrong way. Stopped at a traffic light she noticed a tiny kitten with a lacerated eye. Carol scooped him up with the merciful intention of taking him to an emergency clinic to be put to sleep. “I thought he could live only a few more hours.” However, by the time she reached Macon, the clinic had closed. The next morning, after his injuries were tended, Carol was able to take him home, where he took up residence as “the alpha cat and sweet mentor” to her other cats. Last year, Ozzy was in Carol’s arms as he passed away.
“My mother was a cat person. I grew up in a household where pets were loved,” says Carol when describing how she loves animals. When her mother, Carrie Johnson Wheeler, passed in February of 2013, Carol planned to set up a field of interest fund honoring Mrs. Wheeler’s particular passion for animal welfare. Carol was familiar with CFCG through her work with Central Georgia C.A.R.E.S., and her estate planning attorney, Boone Smith, III, affirmed that a fi eld of interest fund at CFCG would be a great way to accomplish her charitable objectives.
For this fund, the Foundation runs a competitive grant program that accepts applications from groups that are working in the area of animal welfare. Then, Carol is able to identify programs and organizations she wishes to fund. Carol studies the applications submitted and decides which organization are awarded grants. She specified the timeline for awards and established criteria for awards to be given to organizations which provide spay and neuter services, animal adoption, and prevention of animal cruelty. Since inception, three organizations have received grants from Ozzy’s Fund for spay-neuter services. These programs are important to Carol because “if we can control the animal population, there won’t be so many dogs and cats being cast aside who could be wonderful pets.”
“If you rescue an animal, they rescue you. They innately know that you love them and they are so loyal. My ten years with Ozzy were the best of my life.”
Ozzy’s story personifies both the need for animal rescue and the rewards to be gained from it. Ozzy’s Fund makes possible the loyal stewardship of animals which Carol Wheeler honed in her childhood home.