Weatherford Democrat

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October 8, 2012

Pets get blessed, donate to help other animals

WILLOW PARK — In a tough economy, it’s not just the people that suffer.

That was the mindset of Jackie French, owner of Le Chateau K-9 Spa, when she decided to have a Pet Food Drive/Pet Blessing Saturday at her business. Proceeds from the event went to benefit Parker County Center of Hope in Aledo.

Mary Ellen Mitts, pantry coordinator with the Center of Hope, said French has been helping the center for a long time.

“She has such a heart of gold for all animals,” Mitts said. “When the people in the area are suffering, you know the pets are too.”

Mitts said French would regularly take bags of dog food to the center when she had the idea to come up with the drive and the blessing. Le Chateau has a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals on site.

Chaplain Raelynn Scott said she had blessed about 10 pets, including a 185-pound Great Dane, early in the day.

“People aren’t holding back, that’s for sure, “ Scott said.

The raw day weatherwise did not slow donations, as two steel garbage cans were full of food for the animals.

Mitts said many people right now are hurting and don’t want to get rid of their pets, so they decide to share their own food with them.

“They do it just to keep their pets going,” Mitts said. “People are so grateful when we’re able to give food not only for themselves but for their pets.”

She says the center, which is open two days a week, is serving about 40 to 45 families a week. She said the Weatherford center is serving anywhere from 60 to 80 a day.

“The need is definitely there right now,” Mitts said.

French said she accepts donations throughout the year for anyone wishing to do so. All food donations were going directly to the center while cash donations, which many people were doing as well, were being put on a card for the center to use, French said.

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