Peace for Pets | Nonprofit Spotlight

Life lessons, responsibility and sportsmanship are only a few of the things that youngsters walk away with from a lacrosse field when they play for Lacrosse On 3, a nonprofit organization that enables underprivileged youth in Stark County to play the game.

A new nonprofit organization in Stark County, Peace for Pets is bringing peace to pets and pet owners — and those who don’t necessarily appreciate animals running amok in their yards.

Operated solely by volunteers and donations, Peace for Pets offers assistance to victims of domestic violence by caring for their pets while the owner is living in a domestic violence shelter in Stark County. The program, called The Safe Haven of Pets, uses volunteer foster homes to temporarily house the pets for up to 12 weeks.

“Sadly many women, men and children will stay in an unsafe environment because they know their pet is at great risk if they leave. Knowing their pets are safe — and knowing they will get their animals back once they are back on their feet — these women now have the confidence to act,” said Veronica Dickey, a local animal advocate and volunteer board member.

The organization also provides a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for feral cats.

By definition, a feral cat is one that has reverted to a wild state. Feral cats are not just found in urban areas. They are former domestic cats that were lost or abandoned, but had to learn to survive on their own outdoors or in
environment with little human contact, such as warehouses, factories, or abandoned buildings.

In most cases, feral cats are not completely wild because they still depend on people for food.

Peace for Pets offers quarterly seminars on how to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) feral felines through a Feral Cat Action program started in January 2010. The program is designed to give relief to residents, who can use the information to rid their neighbor-hood of feral cats. The free seminars cover the history of TNR and why it works, how to establish good community relations, trapping entire colonies, safely handling feral cats, locating low-cost spay/neuter services or clinics, post-operative care, and release of the cats and management of the colony.

More than 200 Stark County residents have attended the seminars so far, and many have gone on to TNR feral colonies in their neighborhoods, stabilizing the colonies by reducing the number of litters and promoting healthier feral cats.

In 2011, Peace for Pets established a “trap bank,” where for a refundable deposit of $35, you can borrow humane traps to TNR feral cats. This year, the program hopes to expand by purchasing new traps, offering more frequent training seminars and by assisting individuals with the cost of neutering.

ABOUT PEACE FOR PETS

WHAT: A new Stark County nonprofit organization dedicated to providing foster care for pets and humane handling for feral cats.
BOARD MEMBERS: Joy Wagner, Judith Snyder, Dr. Pamela Fisher and Veronica Dickey.
PROCEEDS: Benefit the organization’s programs.
CONTACT: 330-484-9537 or info@peaceforpets.org.
DONATIONS: Send donations to Peace for Pets, 1435 Market Ave. N, Canton, OH 44714-2609.