Canine Steals Show at Commissioners’ Meeting
National Animal Shelters Appreciation Week Starts Nov. 6
By Rick Hiduk
There were not a lot of heavy topics on the agenda at the Oct. 27 Bradford County Commissioners’ meeting, so the attention of most of those in attendance went to a furry little guy who was too busy making friends with the people around him to care much about meeting protocol. “Pete,” who is better known as “Jake” at the Bradford County Humane Society’s (BCHS) shelter in Ulster, was chosen as this year’s poster pup for the annual “Eat for Pete” campaign, which includes two events purposely scheduled during National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.
Eat for Pete has become one of the agency’s largest fundraisers and annually draws about 175 supporters, which helps BCHS raise more than $1,200. The menu includes chicken and biscuits, vegetable, dinner rolls, beverage, and dessert. Take-outs are available, and reservations are not required.
Jake follows a long line of dogs who have been groomed by BCHS personnel for public appearances, including the Eat for Pete dinner that will be held at the Towanda Elks Club from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. Animal Shelter Week in Bradford County will conclude with the Shop for Pete event on Saturday, Nov. 12, but the needs of the shelter are realized by the organization every day.
According to BCHS community coordinator Jennifer Spencer, who attended the commissioners meeting with BCHS volunteer Kelly Pakes, the shelter is the temporary home of more than 30 dogs and more than 50 cats. The facility was maxed out during and after recent flooding with a large number of displaced animals and some that it boarded at the request of pet owners.
Spencer informed the commissioners that most of the boarded pets are back with their owners, and she later noted that approximately 20 dogs and cats were reunited with their families through the shelter. Commissioner John Sullivan commended BCHS for the agency’s contribution to the community.
Jake, a well-mannered and neutered terrier mix, is estimated to be between two and three-years-old and has been at the shelter for about a month. He was rescued as a stray in the Towanda area and will be ready for adoption on Nov. 12. His easy-going manner is indicative of so many animals at the shelter that merely need a loving home and a stable, comfortable environment in which they may sleep each evening.
The fee for adopting Jake or any other dog from the shelter is $50, which is the same for a neutered or spayed cat. The cost to adopt an animal that has not yet been fixed is $20, plus a $50 neuter deposit.
The purpose of Shelter Week is to draw attention to the importance of community animal shelters as safe havens for lost, displaced, and abused animals. For as much as the facilities do for pets and people, animal shelters are constantly in need of specific supplies and volunteers.
Spencer noted that non-clumping cat litter, puppy food, canned and dry dog and cat food, and bleach for cleaning are among the BCHS shelter’s ongoing needs. Supporters who don’t often get to Ulster will have an opportunity to put those and other supplies directly into the hands of shelter personnel on Nov. 12, when Tops Market in the Bradford Towne Centre along Route 6 in Wysox Township hosts BCHS’s Shop for Pete. Spencer explained that a wish list will be posted near the entrance, and patrons may drop off the items that they have purchased for the shelter in designated collection bins at the BCHS booth as they leave the store.
As for volunteers, Spencer related that there are a variety of tasks that animal lovers can perform to assist BCHS personnel, including walking dogs, socializing cats, cleaning, and doing dishes. Readers interested in volunteering at the shelter may call 570-888-2114. A list of adoptable animals is available online at firstname.lastname@example.org.