By: Bridget Howley
We are excited to announce that this year at Pacific Bag we are participating in the Holiday Giving Tree to support our friends at Homeward Pet--both, Man and animal! Among others like the Happy Tails Wine Walk (yes, there is wine) and the Fur Ball Auction the Giving Tree will now be a new holiday tradition at PBi. PBi has been a long-time supporter of Homeward Pet and this year we were honored with getting a tile on their supporters wall. I think we made it on the “nice list” this year.
In addition to the Holiday Giving Tree, we wanted to share some more information on our beloved local shelter and the impact they have year-round on our community, state and nation. If you’re in the area, you are likely to witness some adorable dogs being walked by volunteers wearing neon vests. Also if you’re stopping by our office, I encourage you to pay a visit and check out their facilities. (Warning: you may experience difficulty leaving without a new four-pawed friend.) I was honored to speak with Lindsay Roe, the Event Coordinator with Homeward Pet, to learn more about our neighbor.
The story of Homeward Pet started in 1990 with a woman named Peggy Barnish who began a cat rescue out of her home called the Hooterville Pet Safehaus. It wasn’t until 2003 that the name changed to Homeward Pet to reflect the end goal for each animal that comes through their doors. Since 1990, their success is hard to ignore. Over the last 28 years, Homeward Pet has grown from helping nearly 400 animals to adopting out nearly 2,000 cats and dogs in 2016--their best year yet! They even helped 35 rescue animals found during the Hurricane Katrina crisis! All of this hard work is thanks to a team of 26 part and full-time employees and with about 400 volunteers helping year round. Along with offering a safe adoption process, Homeward also offers veterinary services, behavioral therapy, and assists pet owners who are dealing with financial difficulties.
After speaking with Lindsay, I learned that about 25% of animals that are brought to HP are surrendered by owners--and a large majority are because of financial difficulty. Homeward Pet has a year round canned food drive to build a food bank in order to help families in need, especially during the holidays. “Every little bit counts,” Lindsay commented when asked how much the Holiday Giving Tree and other events impact the shelter. The Giving Tree alone can stock the shelter’s shelves for 4-5 months with things from toilet paper to blankets to pet food. On the other hand, the Holiday Canned Pet Food Drive reaches out into the community to help families during an expensive time of year.
The opportunity to give back to those in our community could come at no better time than the holiday season. The Holiday Giving Tree has been around for 19 years and is a great way for any business, group, or organization to offer easy access for those who want to support Homeward Pet (you can find the info here). To make things more convenient, you can check out their Shelters Essential List and purchase items through Amazon. If you’re the type that likes to wrap those puppies up (gifts, of course), then visit the full essentials list here. It’s the perfect time to give back to the shelter that gives, and gives and gives. I bet even ol’ Ebenzer Scrooge would find his heart in the giving spirit if he visited Homeward Pet!
Pacific Bag, Inc.
P.S. It doesn't have to stop after December. They have a variety of annual events your business or organization could adopt as a new tradition. As a non-profit organization, Homeward Pet relies on the spirit of generosity.)