Food drive launched for homeless animals

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:00

    Andover - Susan Fill, owner of Home Sweet Home Pet Sitters, was the first professional pet sitter in N.J. to become a Wishbones for Pets representative. Wishbones for Pets is the brainchild of Janet Depathy of Under My Wings Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA, who observed that Thanksgiving is a traditional time for community food drives for people, but not for homeless animals. That observation led her to the idea to form a signature event for pet sitters on a national level. The program involves a network of pet sitters during the Thanksgiving season, who want to help animals in their community by hosting a pet goods/fund drive. Approximately 200 professional pet sitters from around the country and Canada have logged on to to be listed as Wishbones for Pets representatives. Each pet sitter selects the charity of their choice and works to help provide the needs of the charity by getting their community involved. It also provides an opportunity to bring an awareness of their pet-sitting service and brings traffic into local businesses that agree to serve as drop-off sites. But most of all, it provides goods for the animals in need as well as attention to pets needing adoption. The program, which began last week, ends Nov. 27. “I was very excited when I first heard about this program and immediately signed up as a representative because it’s a great way to give back to the community and make everyone aware of all the wonderful homeless animals in need of adoption,” said Fill. “My hope is that this will become an annual event that just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year.” With the help of local businesses, Home Sweet Home is collecting pet foods and funds for BARKS (Byram Animal Rescue Kindness Squad). Drop-off sites are Byram Animal Hospital, Acorn Plaza #8, Rt. 206 North; Canine Clips, 698A Rt. 206 South, Andover; and Medicine Shoppe, 146 Rt. 206 North, Andover. BARKS’ wish list includes canned or dry dog and cat food, kitten food, litter, bleach, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, blankets and towels, paper or plastic grocery bags, pet toys and four-ply yarn to crochet kitties’ blankets (must be four-ply yarn). Those who prefer to make a monetary donation, can send a check made payable to “BARKS” to Home Sweet Home Pet Sitters, 18 Manu Trail, Andover, NJ 07821. For a receipt, write “Wishbones” on the memo line of the check and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. For information, call 973-347-2040 or e-mail