Attendees gathered in the parking lots of the AWA, where shelter Executive Director Laura Houston said the turnout highlighted the strong bond between animals and humans.
“National Pet Remembrance day is Sept. 12, so in honor of [that day], it was just a great opportunity for people to honor their pets that had passed along …” she explained. “We had over 350 [luminaries], so that was 350 individual pets being remembered.”
The luminaries were purchased in advance online as donations for the AWA. They were also sold the day of the event.
“The bags were purchased online and we placed them throughout the campus,” Houston noted. “We had a small reception where people could gather and talk. We also had service animals there for comfort, for support for people who struggle during the event.”
The shelter also provided a pet grief counselor. Houston said the event was inspired by the same grief that connects humans to each other.
Other AWA events include a “Puptoberfest” on Saturday, Oct. 1, and “Pawsome Pibble Pageant” Friday, Oct. 7. Puptoberfest is an extension of the shelter’s “Barking Lot Sips and Brews” event in August, and will feature live music by Opus Soul, food trucks, drinks, lawn games and adoption center tours.
Guests are invited to bring a chair to the event. For more information, visit the AWA Facebook page and website, https://awanj.org. The Animal Welfare Association is located at 509 Centennial Blvd.