WILKES-BARRE – Strutting her stuff, Daisy, an 11-year-old, black-and-white Beagle, was on the look-out for a new family while chaperoned by her friends from the Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge during a visit to Pet Supplies Plus in Wilkes-Barre Saturday.
The visit was organized on behalf of October being National Pet Adoption month, store manager Jason Patronick said. Volunteers from Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, Dallas, were available to discuss pet adoption and volunteer opportunities. They will be at the store from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. again today.
The event was also teamed up with VIP Pet Care, a veterinary clinic, offering veterinary care at an affordable cost from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Jackson, a 3-year-old Dachshund, and his owner, Nancy Zawodniak of Hanover Township, waited in line for his chance to visit with the veterinarian.
“He is getting a rabies vaccine,” Zawodniak said.
Stacy Schwartz, assistant branch manger of VIP Pet Care, said they were offering rabies vaccination, lyme testing and many other medical services.
“It is very important to make veterinary care accessible,” Schwartz said. “It is important for the welfare of the pet and its family.”
Michelle McGettigan, a volunteer from Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, said about 10 percent of the 40 dogs adopted in a month, are adopted through events like this.
Many times people will leave the store and head straight to the farm to see what pets are waiting to find homes, she said.
Currently, there are about 200 cats and kittens and 15 to 20 dogs waiting for loving home, she said.
The cost to adopt them can depend on the dog. Puppies can be around $150 up. Cats and kittens are $40, McGettigan said.
All the dogs and cats have been neutered or spayed, received all their shots, and in some cases, had other medical needs, she said. Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge is a no-kill shelter and financed through donations and run by volunteers. The cost of adoption covers these needs.
Making sure the animals are placed with good owners is a top priority. The adoption process requires credit checks and veterinary checks.
Pet placement is taken seriously to prevent the animal from finding themselves back in a shelter. Daisy was brought to Blue Chip when her previous owners lost their home and could not keep her any longer, McGettigan said.
Wagging her tail at everyone who stopped, Daisy demonstrated her best quality, affection.
“She is very friendly to humans, but not to other dogs,” McGettigan said. “She loves to ride in the car.”
Unfortunately not all the animals at Blue Chip had the same experience. Mandy Gwiazdowski, a Blue Chip Farms volunteer, said it is sad to see some animals get dropped off in the driveway of Blue Chip.
“We found a crate with kittens in it, cats in bags,” she said. “For every one cat that is adopted, we receive about 100 more.”
Gwiazdowski said she remembered one person saying if Blue Chip did not take his two Pitt Bulls “he was going to drop them off the bridge”.
“We get threats like that all the time,” she said.
She said he did let them go on the bridge between Pittston and West Pittston and volunteers found them and brought them into the farm.
“They were the sweetest things,” Gwiazdowski said.
But for every unkind person, many more stand ready to assist whether through volunteering their time, being a foster family, donating food and supplies, or funding, Gwiazdowski said.
Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge, located at 974 Lockville Road, Dallas, has been in operation since 1996, giving unwanted pets a second chance at finding a loving home. Please visit www.bcfanimalrefuge.org for a list of pets ready for adoption or volunteering opportunities.