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Presents for Paws event scheduled

December 15th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The Saturday before Christmas has become a big day for the dogs and cats housed at the Allegany County Animal Shelter.  December 19th will mark the fifth year supporters of the shelter have promoted Presents for Paws, a family giving day for the pets at the Furnace Road facility.

“It’s a common dilemma in institutions of any kind,” ACAS Executive Director Tina Rafferty explained, “The big holidays when workers and volunteers spend time with their families can be lonely – manned only by a small crew. Our solution to that problem over the holidays has become a very nice tradition of bringing the celebration to our pets on the Saturday before the big day.”

As in previous years, the Shelter will be holding an Open House from 11 am to 5 pm and is encouraging local families to come out with gifts of animal food, animal toys, pet care items, blankets, towels, straw, bleach and general cleaning supplies. A list of suggested items can be found on the shelter's website,

At 2 p.m. Reverend Mike McKenzie will officiate a “Blessing of the Animals” for the shelter animals and owned animals in the community.   Dogs must be leashed and cats and other small animals secured in carriers. 

“This year our community and our Shelter team placed 1,400 animals in adopted homes, fosters and rescues or were returned to owners saving the lives of well over 95% of the animals that came into our care,” Rafferty said. “It’s a huge undertaking but one that our community has come to value. Allegany County has the only municipal no-kill shelter in the state. That’s something to celebrate.”

In the past years, organizers estimate that over 15 tons of supplies have been donated through Presents for Paws. Some of the shelter’s adoptable pets will be decked out in their Christmas finest to greet attendees.

More information on Presents for Paws can be obtained by calling 301-777-5930 or joining the Allegany County Animal Shelter page on Facebook.

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