By Marianne Curtis
“Don’t shop – adopt” – this is the message that Niverville dog lover and rescuer Barry Piasta is trying to convey with the release of a new fundraising calendar in support of pet rescue operations.
Each year about 4 to 5 million dogs are euthanized and an additional 85-95 million are abandoned.
“That is approximately 1,200 semi-trailer loads,” stated Piasta. “One out of three dogs gets adopted, that means that two out of three are killed. This is mostly due to overpopulation by backyard breeders and puppy mills.”
That is what makes the new calendar so special – each month has a photo and story about a dog that has been rescued, along with their sometimes heartbreaking stories.
“We have to educate people, we have to get people to spend the money to train their dogs so that they are good family members,” explained Piasta. “This is why I do this, why I am trying to raise money with the sales of the calendars; but also to showcase stories that show what these dogs have gone through, and how they have enhanced the lives of those who rescued them.”
Piasta may be selling calendars right now, but in a few months he will be working to get ready for the second annual Niverville Pet Adoption fair, which is taking place May 11 in Niverville. He has also brought in a line of collars from Friendly Dog Collars in the United Kingdom and the profits from those are also going in support of pet rescues.
“I am but one of a small group who are trying to do something about the problem, but we all can help,” Piasta says.
Anyone wishing to purchase a calendar or businesses wanting to sell them can contact Piasta at 388-9676. Calendars will be available at a variety of local locations in Niverville for $10 each. All profits will go to help shelters and possibly towards starting a spay and neuter program.
Calendars are also available through the adoption fair’s website at dogadoptionmb.com. The site is linked to over twenty rescues from across Manitoba that either have dogs available for adoption or who are looking for foster parents for animals waiting to be adopted.