A helping paw for pooches in peril

By on October 4, 2017

Molly is a nine-year-old Maltese who has scoliosis of the neck. The condition has weakened her front legs to the point where she needs a cart to get around. And get around she does, according to her human Laura Sorgini, who says Molly is a happy girl who does not lack in spirit and energy.

For dog lovers, Lititz Springs Park on Saturday afternoon provided plenty of opportunities to love.

It was the second annual Paws in the Park dog festival, sponsored by St. Leo’s Helping Paws, Inc., a non-profit and all-volunteer group that raises money to pay for the veterinary care of rescued puppy mill dogs and other rescues that have been abused, abandoned or otherwise mistreated.

Joanne Pursel co-chaired this year’s event. She was there with Cano, her five-year-old rescue who, at two, had been so abused he was terrified of humans. Today, he’s a friendly guy and a certified therapy dog.

Pursel said this year’s Paws in the Park was much bigger than last year’s, with 45 vendors, about a third of whom represented the kind of organization that St. Leo’s Helping Paws is meant to benefit.

Founded in 2014 by Beth Buchter and Kathy Styer, who own the Pancake Farm Restaurant in Ephrata, St. Leo’s Helping Paws provides grants to small, all-volunteer rescue groups who are often faced with high vet bills for the animals they take in. The money raised through fundraisers like Paws in the Park is distributed through grants, one dog at a time. Since its inception, the 36 volunteers who run St. Leo’s Helping Paws have raised $190,000 to cover vet bills for 192 rescued dogs, according to their website, leoshelpingpaws.org.

Their next event will be a Bow Wow Bingo afternoon at the Ephrata Recreation Center. Tickets for the event are $25 and can be purchased on the website or at the door on Sunday, Oct. 22. The party begins at 11:30 a.m.

Dick Wanner is a staff photographer and writer for the Record Express. He welcomes reader feedback at rwanner.eph@lnpnews.com.

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One Comment

  1. Deb Abshire

    October 11, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    What issue was this published? We were at Paws in the Park with our 16 year old Shih Tzu. She passed away last night. I want to see if there’s any pictures of her (the photographer took pictures and interviewed my husband). This would be the last picture of her when she was alive.

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