NEW PORT RICHEY — Loving and taking care of a pet is a responsibility that many families love to have. Pets are seen as a best friend, a companion, and a part of the family. Many senior citizens look to their pets to keep them company. Cindy’s Pets makes sure that elderly residents are always able to feed their pets to keep them by their side.
Last Saturday, Cindy’s Pets held a Dog Walk People Run benefit in Sims Park to raise money to buy pet for Pasco seniors.
Cindy’s Pets is an organization that brings food to the elderly for their pets. The organization visits senior citizens on the Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Meals On Wheels” program, and makes sure that their pets have enough food for the month.
They supply 1,800 pounds of food a month to several different types of pets including 180 cats, 112 dogs, seven birds, and one bunny.
The program started about three years ago by Genesis Preparatory School head Missy Nurrenbrock and her sisters, in memory of their sister, Cindy, who was an animal lover. They coordinated efforts with Meals on Wheels because they wanted to make sure that both the seniors and their pets were getting the proper food and nutrition that they need.
Nurrenbrock explained how they learned seniors were giving their food from Meals on Wheels to their pets because they could not afford it themselves. Cindy’s Pets provides food for the pets, so the seniors can feed themselves.
“Sometimes their pets are their only family.” Nurrenbrock said.
Nina Gronemeyer has been a volunteer with Cindy’s Pets from the start and enjoys helping the pets of the elderly, as well as keeping them company every month.
“Just visiting the seniors every month, they become like an extended part of your family.” Gronemeyer said.
The day had four events that took place throughout the afternoon. A 5K, a 1-mile fun run, a dog walk around Orange Lake, and a 10-category dog show. The show featured puppies competing in categories such as best pet tricks, most adorable, best costume, and most glamorous.
Bev Miller came with her Yorkshire terrier, Mocha, to help Cindy’s Pets and to compete in the dog show. “It’s a good time, a lot of fun.” Miller said. Mocha competed in several of the categories, including most glamorous and best pet tricks.
The event had two major sponsors, the Melvin C. Draft Family Foundation and Robert and Sharon Lichter.
The Lichters are a married couple who were searching for ways that they could reach out to their community over the last year. Along with Cindy’s Pets, they are involved in several other charities and organizations, including Salvation Army and domestic violence shelters.
“It’s up to the individual to stand up and say I want to do something good in the community to help people.” Robert Lichter said. “Help your fellow man and animals.”
The event had several pet-friendly vendors, including Rugaz Rescue, SPCA Suncoast, Pets Best Insurance, All Pets Hospital, Beyond Bones and Genesis Preparatory School. Several students from Genesis were helpers in the event by passing out ribbons to the winners at the show.
To find out about donations for Cindy’s Pets, call (727) 372-9333.