Animals need help too in the holidays | Pet Chat | December

You have heard me talk before about how much I enjoy our small town and the folks within it.

I had another opportunity to realize just how great our community is during a recent phone conversation I had with Marilyn Olds (another contributor to this paper). Olds was asking me about my favorite local charity. As we talked about all the local animal-related organizations, I realized just how many people are helping local animals in need, and how much our Country Pet Shoppe customers help us to support them.

I told her my favorite, and the one we work most closely with is North Kitsap Spay Neuter. Many people aren’t familiar with the official name of the organization, what they know of is “Linda Dennis– the cat lady.” Dennis is always on the go, collecting stray cats, feral cats and other cats in need and taking them to veterinarians who donate their time.

Dennis has helped thousands of cats and kittens live healthy lives without contributing to the cat over- population problem. Country Pet Shoppe is essentially a “foster home” for many of these kittens. Thanks to the good folks of our community, hundreds of kittens and dozens of adult cats have found good, loving homes through this rescue program.

There are many other rescues working in our area, each with their own area of specialty. There is the Big Dog Project, Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education, Old Dog Haven, Rescue Every Dog (RED), Second Chance Ranch, and of course the Kitsap Humane Society and PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap. I’m sure there are even more I’m not remembering.

Country Pet Shoppe’s PAW-Fest is our summer pet adoption fair where we bring many of these rescues together to educate the community about what they do, hopefully gather some donations and perhaps find some homes for critters in need. This past summer, thanks to the support of the North Kitsap community, many dogs and cats got new homes at PAW-Fest, and we were able to donate more than $600 in high quality food to the rescues there.

Last January, many of our customers reached out to lend a helping hand during our Blankie & Milk Drive. Thanks to their caring and generosity, we were supplied several boxes of blankets for the dogs seized in a recent puppy mill bust, and many cans of puppy and kitten milk to the Kitsap Humane Society.

Throughout the year, people also help the pets in our community by donating pet food in the big grey box in front of Country Pet Shoppe. The pet foods donated in that box are taken by PAWS of North Kitsap to our local food banks.

With the holidays coming near, many of us try to share the joys of the season by reaching out and helping others. The wonderful folks of our community have been reaching out to help all year, and I want to say thank you to all of you for helping the pets in our community.

If you are looking for a way to contribute this holiday season, please remember there are still many pets with much need. If you have a little something to give back to them, there are many ways to help. All of the rescues I have mentioned appreciate donations. Their contact information is at PAW-Fest.com, or donations can be made at Country Pet Shoppe and we will see that they get to the right place.