Animal memorial planned

Posted: Friday, August 24, 2001

Animal lovers will pay homage to lost pets Saturday at a special candlelight ceremony.

It is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Bailey's Furniture in Soldotna.

The ceremony, sponsored by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is in remembrance of animals that were euthanized in the year 2000. It also is in recognition of National Homeless Animals Day, which was Aug. 18, said Michelle DeMilta, chief executive officer and founder of the SPCA of the Kenai Peninsula.

The space available for homeless animals at the SPCA and at the city shelters is limited, and few permanent homes are available. Many of the animals at the SPCA are at foster homes until a long-term home can be found.

"We are no longer a no-kill shelter; we are a quality-of-life facility," DeMilta said.

A large number of animals do not find homes and eventually are euthanized.

However, the vigil Saturday is full of activities that families and children can enjoy. Food, a dunking booth and dart throws are planned.

Information booths will be set up with brochures about everything from puppy meals to vaccinations to spaying and neutering pets.

Participants can hold a candle and a ribbon during the memorial ceremony, led by Father Tero from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna.

The SPCA will sell memorial tags for animals where people can write messages. Gift certificates to Mykel's Restaurant will be given out, as well as a limited number of free spay-neuter certificates to qualified individuals.

Information for livestock owners also will be available, and animals will be present for petting and possible adoption.

In recognition of individuals who have gone the extra mile to help protect animals on the peninsula, certificates will be presented to two animal advocates during the event.

The ceremony was planned partially in hopes that it would remind people of the importance of spaying and neutering pets, DeMilta said. For more information, call 262-8800

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