Looking for a pet: Adopt don’t shop
Junior Girl Scout Troop 6603’s “Adopt Don’t Shop” Fashion Show in the grove at Neffs Union United Church of Christ May 21 featured rescued cats and dogs in search of “fur-ever” homes from the Sanctuary at Haafsville, Upper Macungie Township.
The Troop includes nine girls, all in fifth grade, who meet regularly at the church, which was happy to offer use of the grove for the show.
The Troop hosted the event for the Bronze Award Project, which requires a minimum of 20 hours of work and execution on a sustainable service project.
The goal was to encourage people to do their research before bringing a pet home, and to adopt rather than purchase from a pet store.
“Our troop has volunteered at the Sanctuary at Haafsville many times before, and we really like animals” said Girl Scout Sophia Sciarrino, 10, of Coplay. “We wanted to show the dogs because all the ‘models’ are looking for a family. A fashion show is a good way for people to see the dogs, and it makes them more appealing.”
Scout Mikaela Garber, 11, of Allentown, said puppy mills are sneaky,”
“They are required by the state of Pennsylvania to have inspections at least once a year, but most try to avoid this rule,” Garber said. “Also, if people purchase their dog online, that could be dangerous.
“Without making a personal connection, people are limited to knowing the dog’s genuine background and characteristics.”
Troop Co-leader Carol Long of North Whitehall has been a Sanctuary at Haafsville volunteer for six years and helps coordinate adoptions.
“All of my family volunteers at Sanctuary at Haafsville, including my daughter Ashley, who is a Troop member. I am so proud of the girls for their effort to showcase some of the Sanctuary at Haafsville animals.”
Troop Co-leader Megan Sciarrino of Coplay said she helped charter the Troop’s exposure to pet adoption.
Sciarrino has been a troop leader since the girls were in kindergarten.
“They learned about pet training, pet nutrition, and met with a local vet,” Sciarrino said. “I provided articles for them to read about puppy mills.
“I have a friend who trains dogs, too. The Troop saw my friend perform a demonstration at Living Things Quality Pets and Supplies of Orefield. We are grateful for Living Things posting flyers about the fashion show.”
Sciarrino said the girls came up with the fashion show idea on their own.
“They wanted to do something related to adopting rescue animals,” Sciarrino said. “They designed and wrote the script for the show, and even went to the grove with sketch pads to design the lay out.
“It was rewarding to be in a room with these girls on a weekly basis seeing them passionately talk about their ideas for this event, and now seeing it come to life.”
Each animal at the show received a brief introduction from one of the Troop members. With assistance from an Sanctuary at Haafsville volunteer, the dogs were walked down the runway dressed in costume.
The Girl Scouts did not want to have any music playing so the audience could fully hear the animal’s description. Fashion wear included head pieces and neck scarves.
The cats introduced at the show were in crates and not in costume, but were still visible enough for the attendees to get a good look at when having their turn on stage.
Attendees were encouraged to bring their own pet and bring a pet supply item for donation to Sanctuary at Haafsville.
A photo booth was available at the show for people to take free pictures with their pets.
Door prizes were given out and everyone attending received a free, retractable pet leash.
The cats and dogs in the fashion show could not be adopted that day, but the volunteers assisting with the show were available to answer questions for those interested in adopting,
“With this being our first time hosting an event like this, if one animal gets one “paw” closer to being part of a family, we’ll all have done good,” Sciarrino said.