Dana Frye: Volunteering a way of life

Published 5:45 am Monday, June 20, 2022

By Emily Burleigh

American Press

Lake Charles resident Dana Frye has spent the majority of her life volunteering, especially for animals. One of her first memories is of her rescuing a litter of puppies when she was a child.

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“My first love was animals in need,” Fyre said. “At 2 years old, my mother dressed me warmly, and I went down the steps and three houses down all alone.”

“One by one, I carried the neighbors’ six big puppies to our old shed”

Fyre credits her love for volunteering to her upbringing. “I don’t think one wakes up one random day and says, ‘I’m volunteering today!’ ” she explained. “It was the way we lived.”

From delivering Christmas presents to children in need to donating fresh milk from their cow, Elsie, to feeding hungry families, Fyre’s family consistently volunteered in their spare time, she said. “Mother said once you commit, you follow through, and you always give your best self”

Frye is originally from Wichita Falls, Texas, but moved to Lake Charles with her family during her senior year of high school. It was in Lake Charles that she met her husband and father of her four children.

According to Frye, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. “A storm was coming, and I arrived home from work to find animals and food bowls all over the house.” The culprit was her daughter, Paula.

“I thought, what on Earth!” explained Frye. “She to this day still rescues, fixes, and finds homes for stray cats. She sends me the dogs!”

“They all have the compassion to help others or animals,” she said.

Frye has been involved with Lake Area Partnerships of Animal Welfare, or LAPAW Rescue, for 21 years. Today, she runs the organization. “It’s a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week adventure!”

Especially over the past few years, Frye explained. “With all the hurricanes, floods, and freezes, so many people lost their homes, including pets.”

Last week, Frye, LAPAW, and Spay Nation of Lafayette ventured to DeQuincy to trap 50 homeless cats.

These cats were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and returned to their colonies. The returned cats will have volunteers visit the colony to feed and care for them. This is a popular method that LAPAW uses.

“It’s called TNR. Trap, Neuter, Return to a managed colony,” Frye said. “A win-win solution!”

When it comes to pet rescue, Frye doesn’t only help the animals.

“Most rescues have a person. I try to help them out, also.” She helps in-need pet owners by supplying them with food, medicine, and any other supplies they need to take care of themselves and their pets.

Frye has words for people who are interested in becoming a volunteer: “Learn to share your time and talents with those that need a little help.”

There are many places to volunteer, according to Frye.

“The church, the library, schools, the parish animal control, the hospitals, oh mercy me, the care centers. You will have many best friends there! You will never be bored once you volunteer.”

For more information about LAPAW Rescue, visit their Facebook page or call 337-304-5359.