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Helping feline friends

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS A kitten watches as Oliver, the shelter's dog mascot, snatches up a catnip pillow.
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS A kitten watches as Oliver, the shelter's dog mascot, snatches up a catnip pillow.
Published August 30. 2012 05:03PM

Lehighton Girl Scout Samantha Schanowolf, 14, decided to do what she likes best when she came up with the idea of making and donating over a hundred multi-colored catnip-filled pillow play toys to the Cat's Peek Rescue in New Ringgold.

She, along with fellow girl scouts, family members and volunteer Lisa Hawk of Lehighton spent numerous hours putting these pillows together. This act was also a way for Schanowolf to pursue her Girl Scout Silver Award, which requires 60 hours spent on completing a project that helps the community.

Schanowolf, whose family owns seven cats ranging from ages 1 to 7, has volunteered her time regularly at the rescue with her mother, Joanne, since 2006.

"When Samantha comes to adoption events, she carries the kittens around to all the visitors," said Diane Sharpless, founder and president of Cat's Peek Rescue. "In addition to this project, Samantha routinely volunteers her time cleaning, caring for the kittens and volunteering at adoption and other rescue events."

"It was a challenge to keep the catnip-filled pillows away from our cats as we made them," said Schanowolf. "In addition to everyone who helped me, I am grateful to Diane for all the great work she does for the kittens."

Currently, there are over two dozen kittens available for adoption at the rescue, located at 25 Lumber Lane in New Ringgold (West Penn Township).

Cat's Peek Rescue, a non-profit organization, specializes in caring for kittens under 6 weeks old.

"Since we are a small organization and don't have enough room, we are unable to accept stray/feral cats and are limited to taking in kittens who have been abandoned or orphaned by their mother," said Sharpless.

Sharpless stresses everyone to spay and neuter their pets, pointing out that it only takes seven years for two cats and their offspring to produce 420,000 cats.

Sharpless encourages anyone wanting to adopt a kitten to call the shelter at (570) 778-6886, goto or visit their website at

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