Shelter wins award for vegan approach

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SHAFTSBURY -- A local animal shelter has won an award and a small grant for its animal-friendly approach to meals at special events.

Second Chance Animal Center Executive Director Linda Huebner said the award is from the "Food for Thought" program run by Animal Place, a California-based animal shelter. The award recognizes Second Chance's practice of serving vegan foods at the events it sponsors.

Huebner said the grant is only for $250 and much of it will go to providing food at the upcoming Walk n' Wag Sunday at the Dorset Playhouse, located at 104 Cheney Road in Dorset. Registration begins at noon. Dogs the shelter is trying to get adopted will be there, and the community is welcome to bring their pets. Father Scott Neal of St. James Episcopal Church in Arlington will conduct a Blessing of the Animals ahead of the animal costume contest.

The $25 per dog entry fee will benefit the shelter's efforts to care for animals while they work to find them homes.

Huebner said to keep the Dorset Playhouse lawn clean, a "crap raffle" will be held. Dog leavings can be exchanged for a raffle ticket with the drawing to be held at the end of the event.

"We at Animal Place were so impressed with the momentum of this organization that in addition to the grant, we asked our friends at Alternative Baking Company to help Second Chance put on their first all-vegan event, so there will be decadent cookies for the upcoming Walk'n'Wag fundraiser," said Carolyn Merino Mullin, program coordinator at Animal Place, in a release.

Animal Place takes the view that because shelters often help creatures like pigs, chickens, and cows, those critters should not be on the menu at shelter fundraising events.

Huebner said Second Chance helps a wide variety of animals besides cats and dogs, but does not take livestock.

"Those of us who work in animal welfare have an opportunity - and an obligation - to set an example for the public by serving animal-friendly food," said Huebner in a release. "I think that many people change their food choices after developing relationships with their companion animals. For those who haven't already considered the similarities between their animals and those who are raised for food, an animal friendly policy can accelerate that process."

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.


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