Panel Continues Planning for April Pet Celebration
"Westminster for mutts" will be an attraction for the pet celebration planned April 19 in Aberdeen.
The Moore County Citizens' Pet Responsibility Committee continued its planning work on the event at a Feb. 26 meeting at Homewood Suites in Olmsted Village.
Houses for Hounds will be demonstrated during the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. celebration, along with a pet parade, demonstrations of agility and pointing dogs, and pet-related vendors.
Several civic clubs in Moore County are cooperating in the Houses for Hounds project, in which club members make dog houses for distribution to responsible pet owners.
Two show rings, one for dogs and one for cats, will be set up during the day, beginning at 11 a.m.
Lisa Bridge, a co-chairwoman of the committee, said the ring would give pet owners an opportunity to showcase their dogs and cats. Dogs must be on leashes, cats on leashes or halters.
For dogs, 45 minutes will be set aside for the show ring. The time may be shorter for cats, which do not take kindly to leashes and halters and are less likely to be accustomed to such restraint. However, if a sufficient number of cats arrive, they will receive equal time, Bridge said.
"It will be like Westminster (dog show), except with mutts," Bridge said with a laugh.
Angela Zumwalt, committee co-chairwoman, who presided for the meeting, said the celebration would open at 10 a.m. with prayer, followed by introductions and a parade of local officials and pets. Educators, members of the Moore County Board of Commissioners and municipal elected officials have been invited to participate.
Rabies clinics will be held in cooperation with the staff of the county's Animal Control Division, and information about pets will be distributed.
In other business, the committee reported on activities pertaining to adoptions, spaying and neutering, education and communications.
Mid-March is the time for the next puppy transport to the animal league in Long Island, N.Y. Al Carter, director of the Moore County Animal Shelter, said the shelter has a big supply of puppies right now, and at least 10 puppies should be available for that program in March. So far, 68 puppies have been transported from the local shelter to Long Island.
Carter reported that weekend adoptions from the shelter have been brisk in recent weeks, and the PetFinder Web site is proving to be successful.
The Pet of the Week adoption program is beginning in The Pilot newspaper, and pets will be alternated among various participating organizations on a weekly basis.
The committee is reaching hundreds of children through education programs at Aberdeen Elementary School. Packets supplied by the American Kennel Club contain a coloring book, a tip sheet for responsible dog owners, a safety check list, a bookmark and information for parents.
A second packet for older children is a disaster kit for assistance in rescuing pets stranded at home when their humans must be evacuated. In addition to booklets on disaster treatment, the packet includes a sticker that can be posted on the outside of a house to alert rescuers of the presence of a family pet within.
The Spay Neuter Veterinary Clinic of the Sandhills is fully booked at this time and has a waiting list of about 800. This number includes dogs and cats from nine participating counties in the region -- Hoke, Montgomery, Cumberland, Harnett, Randolph, Richmond, Chatham and Lee as well as Moore. Support for the clinic comes from the Companion Animal Clinic of the Sandhills Foundation, which accepts tax-deductible gifts.
These contributions are used to defray the additional cost of the spay/neuter procedures. Fees for this service, $45 spay and canine neuter and $35 feline neuter, are charged to animal welfare groups and individuals who cannot afford a private veterinarian.
Two feral cat days are being scheduled in the Aberdeen-Pinebluff area. Feral cats were once someone's pets but have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves, surviving as untamed animals. Volunteers will trap these cats and hold them for spay/neuter procedures by a veterinary team. They will then be released where they were trapped.
Zumwalt made presentations on pet responsibility to a youth group at Bethesda Presbyterian Church and to the Southern Pines Rotary Club. The committee's work was also mentioned in the Rotary Club's newsletter.
Signs are being made by students at The O'Neal School to publicize the pet celebration. The event will also be publicized with advertising, public notices and fliers, and information will be included in the telephone tree that notifies parents of school activities.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at florence @thepilot.com.
More like this story