By Sean Patrick Murphy
A Mount Laurel-based group is collecting items for shelter animals until October.
Felicia Lembesis, executive director of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), said the Presents 4 Pets program was started to support the welfare of animals.
“Presents 4 Pets benefits shelter and rescue organizations by providing the necessary supplies to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for the animals they care for,” Lembesis said. “As part of the program, NAPPS members are reaching out to their clients and communities and encouraging them to collect and donate products.”
The list of items being solicited includes toys, treats, blankets, towels, rugs, beds, bleach, leashes, collars, coupons, and newspapers. Individual NAPPS members will donate the items they collect to shelters and rescue groups in their area.
Presents 4 Pets is now in its sixth year.
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters was founded by a handful of pet sitters in 1989. Four years later, the organization incorporated as a nonprofit membership organization to provide support and serve as a voice for a growing industry.
The program is to be held in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States’ National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, Nov. 6 to Nov. 12. National Association of Professional Pet Sitters members, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States’ National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, raised more than $63,900 in cash and supplies in 2010.
“Through this program, NAPPS hopes to bring greater attention to the needs of animal shelter and rescue organizations,” Lembesis said. “National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is an opportune time to promote the importance local shelters by supporting with the necessary supplies to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for pets.”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year.
“Advocating for the welfare of animals is inherent to NAPPS’ mission, and we feel compelled to take action and do our part to help local shelter and rescue organizations,” Lembesis said.
The mission of NAPPS is to:
- provide tools and support to foster the success of members’ businesses;
- promote the value of pet sitting to the public; and
- advocate the welfare of animals.
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters adopted this mission statement in 2003 to raise the organization’s standards of excellence. NAPPS aims to help the pet owning public, those interested in pet sitting, and professionals engaged in the in-home pet care industry by fulfilling its vision statement, serving as “the most respected authority in professional pet sitting.”
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters encourages individuals wishing to participate in Presents 4 Pets to contact a pet sitter in their area. To find a local pet sitter, NAPPS provides a free nationwide referral network conveniently on its Web site, www.petsitters.org