'Woofstock' animal food drive underway; pet blessing set for Sept. 25

Hunter Hamblin was excited to donate his 50-pound bag of food to the puppies that don't have any. | Photo Contributed 

WHITLEY COUNTY — Understanding the need and believing in the power of prayer, community members and church leaders have organized a food and toy drive as well as a pet blessing for local animals.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Williamsburg is hosting a food and toy drive named "Woofstock" to benefit animals at the Knox/Whitley Humane Association. The food and toy drive will end on Sept. 25, with a pet blessing at the animal shelter on Busy Lane in Corbin.

A blessing of the adoptable animals will be held on the grounds of the shelter at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25.

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Corbin has also teamed up with the event and is collecting for the shelter. Organizers say more churches may become involved before the event is over.

Erica Pierson with the parish council for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church said this is one way to help the community and the shelter.

The church recently decided that they wanted to do a pet blessing in October. While members of the church thought that was a great idea and still plan on having the October pet blessing, for the community’s well feed and well loved pets they wanted to do something beyond that. Pierson said that’s how the idea for Woofstock came to be.

On Sept. 25, shelter pets will be prayed over in hopes that they will get good loving homes.

“We’re going to bless the adoptable pets first and hopefully we will get some people that will want to take home a new pet and then they can come back out on October 4 and get them blessed again,” Pierson said.

Pierson said they understand the shelter is at capacity but with winter coming she anticipates even more animals heading the shelter's way, and the food drive is just one way to help them prepare for the coming months.

“We’re hoping to support them and get the community out,” Pierson added. “We believe in the power of prayer and this is a good way to do that.”

Church member Angie Bowling said the recent dog video that floated around last month poked her heart.

“There is little I can do to affect the outcome,” she said. “But, what I can do is join with OLPH members and go to our local shelter to offer pet blessings to the adoptable pets there, and bring some items along to donate."

Melissa McElroy, Director of the Knox Whitley Humane Association, is excited about the facility's first-ever pet blessing. McElroy said the shelter had a pet blessing once before when the shelter burned but it was held at a church. This will be the first one at the facility.

McElroy added that the shelter currently has lots of cats and kittens that need good homes.

Pierson, Bowling and organizer Barb Reed said they think they are going to exceed the original goal of 500 lbs. of puppy and kitten chow.

Reed added that this event is a wonderful way to get children involved in a worthy cause.

Organizers encourage community members to share the Facebook event "Woofstock 2019" as well as hashtag #Woofstock2019.

For more information on how to donate or for more information on either pet blessing event, you can contact Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church at 606-549-2156.

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