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Purina's 'Tidy Cats' Fixing Hearthstone Pool

The "PU Patrol," is cleaning up and repairing the community's recent pool vandalism.

The recently is getting tidied up thanks to....Tidy Cats.

The cat litter brand, owned by Purina, is footing the bill -- between $10,000 and $15,000 -- to have the mess left by vandals late last month cleaned up, repaired, and equipment replaced, said a member of Tidy Cats' "PU Patrol" on Tuesday.

The Hearthstone pool in unincorporated Stone Mountain was heavily damaged and its pool house destroyed by fire during the April incident.

Three students who were truant from DeKalb Alternative School face charges of criminal damage to property, according to a DeKalb County police report.

The folks at Tidy Cats say they got wind of the story through social and online media while on a seven-city tour with their "Tidy Cats PU Patrol."

The patrol's work in other cities include surprising 50 people in Boston with a free tank of gas, ("PU at the  Pump") and repairing a long-abandoned property in Queens, N.Y.

In a release about the effort, the company says, "Sometimes life just stinks, but Tidy Cats® is coming to the rescue to help with a stinky situation in the lives of its Atlanta-based friends."

"It's been a really rewarding campaign for everyone," said Meg Lamontagne, part of the PU Patrol.

Atlanta was fourth on Tidy Cats' tour. When the PU Patrol heard about Hearthstone's plight, they decided to do something about it.

Tidy Cats contacted Hearthstone and started the work, through local vendors,  last week, Lamontagne said.

There will be an unveiling of the cleaned-up space on Thursday, 11 a.m. State Rep. Michele Henson is scheduled to attend.

The work won't be completely done by then, Lamontagne said, because the damage was extensive: the pool repair involves pulling up some of the concrete.

"Everything is being replaced," including the pool pumps, she said.

The board of the Hearthstone Community Club is looking ito rebuild the structure that housed the pump equipment, said Vernell Kimbrough, president of the Hearthstone Community Club. He said the previous pool house, which was uninsured, had been standing without problems for 40 years before it burned to the ground.

Kimbrough said Tidy Cats' help "is a blessing."

"I thought the pool was closed. I thought we were done," Kimbrough said. "Without this, we wouldn't be swimming. We're thanking Tidy Cats for their generosity. They are helping 300 to 400 kids by giving them an option to swim this summer. That's a blessing."

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