'Paws' for rain, but the show goes on
Ron Gower/Times News Emily Haas, 7, left, and her sister, Abby, 11, both of Summit Hill, play with Roscoe, an Australian shepherd, who advertises his availability for adoption, during the third annual Polka for Pets at the Lehighton Community Grove in Lehighton.
It was a barrel of fun yesterday during the third annual Polka for Pets in Lehighton.
It would have been a lot more fun - and probably better attended - had it not rained.
The event, held in the Lehighton Community Grove, had few visitors most of the day. Some of the adoption agencies scheduled to bring pets for adoption didn't show.
"I'm a little disappointed," said Dr. Mary Lombardo of the Mahoning Valley Animal Hospital, one of the planners of the event.
Tom Zimmerman IV, coordinator, said that considering the weather he was happy with the attendance.
"It could have been better, but people turned out despite the rain."
Among those who attended was Todd Bunce and his family, who came up the Pa. Turnpike from Doylestown. Family members included his wife, Sharon, and children Leah, Lily, and Evan.
They adopted "Trixie Bell" from the Almost Home Dog Rescue, a group of volunteers who house rescued dogs. Virginia Ellen of Lehighton said Trixie Bell, a shepherd-collie mix, came from Kentucky.
Todd said the family had been looking for a pet and spotted Trixie Bell on Pet Finders, an Internet site.
He said they were thrilled to learn that they could see Trixie Bell at the Polka for Pets event.
They weren't disappointed. Todd walked the new pet around the Community Grove on a leash with the children following. They fell in love with Trixie Bell almost at first sight.
Matt Arner of the Lehighton Police Department did some foot patrol work at the event, and he found a dog he liked very much. It was a shepherd and he was leaning toward the adoption.
"I absolutely support the cause," he said. "I, myself, have a dog we rescued, we adopted from the Hillside SPCA in Pottsville. It's the best dog we ever had. I'm hoping some people are here today looking for a dog which they are able to make a connection to."
Some dogs wore bandanas which pleaded, "Adopt me."
There were a lot of cats available for adoption.
The Carbon County Friends of Animals had a stand at the event.
Dr. Lombardo said besides trying to find homes for animals, Polka for Pets was also held to bring attention to the Amazing Grace Spay and Neuter Program. She said although the Amazing Grace program has been in effect for three years, people still aren't taking advantage of it.
"We hear accounts that towns are over-run with animals and shelters are full, so they must be coming from somewhere," she said, noting that spay and neutering helps to reduce the numbers of unwanted pets.
The program makes spaying and neutering available for families which meet income guidelines. Applications can be obtained by contacting Diane Sharpless at 570-778-6886.