6th Annual Pets In Poverty Fair Being Held To Raise Pet Food Donations For Struggling Local Families
The Church of St. Andrew will be host to the 6th Annual “Pets in Poverty Fair”, on Sunday, September 13, 2015, from noon to 4 p.m. (The location is 3620 Heatherdowns Blvd, Toledo OH 43614.)
“The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of pets in need of food and homes,” said Rod Pierce, the fair’s director, who has been involved with the event since its beginning.
Dog and cat food and monetary donations will be collected to benefit Humane Ohio‘s pet-food bank, which distributes more than 7,000 pounds of food monthly to pets and families in need.
“Our goal began with no number, just the desire to collect food for pets,” Mr. Pierce said. “Then, in 2011, we shot for 1,500 pounds [and] we collected in excess of 1,700 pounds. In 2014 we received donations in excess of 3,500 pounds. So this year our goal is 4,000 pounds of dog and cat food to be collected/received by donations from our community.”
Local animal groups will also be on hand with animals for adoption, and there will be a blessing of pets by Rev. Laura Bensman, St. Andrew’s pastor. Pets are welcome to attend the free event with their owners. Adoptable dogs will be available from groups, including the Lucas County Canine Control, Toledo Area Humane Society, and Planned Pethood. Other planned activities include a bounce house for children, face painting, and food. “Pets in Poverty” T-shirts will be sold, and the proceeds will be used to donate food to the Humane Ohio pet-food bank.
The idea for the event began in mid-2010, when the church’s former pastor, Loran Miracle, attended an annual conference of the United Methodist Church. The bishop asked, “What can your church do to bridge the gap between people of poverty and your church/congregation?”
Pastor Miracle posed the question to Mr. Pierce. Coincidentally, Mr. Pierce had been laid off from a full-time job and had been struggling himself. “I had personally experienced much difficulty doing what I could to feed both myself and my dog, Snickers,” he said, recalling how he sometimes bought $1, two-patty cheeseburgers at McDonald’s and gave one of the patties to his dog so both could eat.
“I thought we could organize something where we raise food for those persons of poverty, or that have fallen upon hard times, to insure their pets are fed,” Mr. Pierce said. “After all they, much like I, may consider their pet to be a family member, too. We began to research, learned about Humane Ohio and their food bank, and the Pets In Poverty fair was created.” Today, Mr. Pierce is co-owner of Gutter Man Gutters and now uses his organization to continue to raise awareness as well as financial support for the Pets In Poverty Fair.
A true miracle is that since this fair was started, at least four other churches have initiated similar events across the country (Canton, Georgia; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania and Kenton, Ohio). Any questionWith any questions about the event, (or a desire to start your own) can be directed to Rod Pierce, Director, Pets In Poverty Fair at the number listed below. Or you may contact the church office at (419) 385-6160.
About Pets In Poverty Fair:
Pets In Poverty Fair, is an annual event held to raise donations for the pet food bank of Humane Ohio, a nonprofit organization that operates a low-cost spay/neuter clinic and pet food bank. The clinic serves any pet owner in Ohio or Michigan, free-roaming-cat caretakers, animal shelters, and rescue groups. The Humane Ohio Pet Food Bank serves pet owners and free-roaming-cat caretakers in Lucas and Wood counties in Ohio and Monroe County in Michigan. Humane Ohio is located at 3131 Tremainsville Rd., Toledo, OH 43613.
Company Name: Pets In Poverty Fair
Name: Rod Pierce
Phone: (419) 215-7718