Halloween fundraiser to benefit SOS Animal Rescue

A Seymour couple who operates a huge Halloween light and projection display at their home is hoping it will draw attention for a very important reason.

Regan and Carrie Rigsby have included a fundraiser box along with their Halloween display to raise money for a worthwhile cause, Saints on Our Side Animal Rescue in Brownstown.

Regan said he and his wife are animal lovers and have two Boston terriers, so they once again chosen to help SOS Animal Rescue as they did last year. Also in 2021, they helped raise funds to go toward a new wheelchair for Kaly Hudson, who has spinal muscular atrophy.

“I used to raise money for Red Sky Rescue. Then after they shut down, I found out that Linda Jackson, the mom of Brewskies owner Chad Keithley, runs Saints on Our Side,” Regan said. “Chad is a friend of mine, so it just made sense.”

Regan sets up the yard decorations and his wife provides moral support at their home at 2720 Falcon Court.

Falcon Court is just south of Jackson County Custom Processing on the city’s far west side. Driving west from the city, turn left​ at Hangman’s Crossing onto Sterling Road. Then​ after about one-third mile, turn right onto Falcon Court.

“There are two subdivisions out there, and we’re in the first one,” Regan said.

He said this year’s display is bigger and better with roughly 5,000 lights and eight projectors.

“Some new things we’ve added are pixel lights/props and a new movie screen,” he said. “It took me about three days to get everything set up, and everything is brighter, so I’m not unhappy with it.”

The donation box for SOS is set up with a ghost on the front and two inflatable dogs standing on either side of the box.

“Linda Jackson doesn’t get any funding or grants to take care of the animals, so it’s run strictly by donations from the community and the items individuals give to her,” Regan said. “Pretty much everything else she has to pay out of her own pocket.”

He said he was lacking motivation this year and thought he might have bitten off a little bit more than he could chew with all of the lights, and his work schedule had changed, too.

Then he remembered how Jackson started to tear up when he gave her the donations he had collected last year.

“Then this cute, little bitty dog, part Husky and part Pomeranian with three legs comes running up to me, and she told me the story about how she had saved him,” Regan said. “That right there was all the motivation I needed, and the kids enjoy the lights, too, so that’s another motivation.”

Jackson, 74, has no outside help or volunteers at SOS except for her sister, so it’s generally her taking care of all of the animals, she said.

Currently, she has 26 cats and nine dogs at SOS, and a few of the dogs are in foster homes.

SOS became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dog and cat rescue in 2017 when she applied for that status because it was getting too expensive, she said.

“I’m on Social Security, so I pay for this out of my own pocket,” Jackson said. “Right now, I’m full here and can’t take any more dogs or cats at the moment.”

She has a rule that the cats and dogs cannot get adopted until they are spayed or neutered.

“I’ve lost a lot of adoptions because of that rule, but it’s not about the people. It’s about the animals,” Jackson said. “So if they have to live their life out at the rescue, they are loved and well-cared for and they are all inside.”

She said she gives the animals her all, and they are her whole life.

“Right now, I’m trying to help a lady in Champaign, Illinois, who has cancer find a home for her dog,” she said. “All she wants is to find a loving home for her full-blooded German shepherd, who is a year-and-a-half-old male, before she dies.”

Jackson said what the Rigsbys are doing for SOS, including the fundraiser along with their light display, is fantastic and much appreciated.

Donations also were raised for SOS through the Turtle Memorial Golf Scramble last month in Seymour.

On her Facebook page, Jackson said, “A big thank you to Jane Mousa Owens and all the ones that helped with the golf tournament in honor of Turtle. God bless you all from the furbabies and me.”

She can’t continue the animal shelter without help, and any contribution, big or small, is appreciated.

Tangible gifts are welcome, too, such as dry and canned cat food, dog food, cat litter, bleach and Dawn dish liquid. Purina Complete dry cat food is what Jackson feeds the cats because they digest it better, and they also can have Purina Friskies pate and shreds canned cat food.

“These animals are fed twice a day, they’re brushed and they’re loved and checked every day, so if a bump comes up on one of them, then we know it,” Jackson said. “My sister is just as diligent as I am, and she helps me as I’m still still recovering from a bad accident when I fell back in 2020 and fractured my femur, so my left leg is held together with plates and screws.”

She was in a wheelchair for a while and then progressed to a walker, and now, she walks with a limp and has some issues, but her doctor is pleased by how well she has gotten along.

“My sister has really helped me a lot, and I’m thankful that I’m able to walk and take care of my babies because that’s what I do,” Jackson said.

To make a contribution to SOS, go to its Facebook page and click on the PayPal link or private message Jackson. You also can contact her at 812-358-3444.

Contributions also can be dropped into the collection box at the home of the Rigsbys, 2720 Falcon Court, Seymour. The days and hours of their Halloween display are 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday night through Halloween.