YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – ‘Tis the season for community drives, raising money, and collecting items for those in need. One this weekend was a bit different. It helped people and their four-legged companions.
BARk is an animal response group based in West York. The non-profit organization helped almost 200 animals in need and changed pet owner’s concern to a smile during this holiday season.
“I think they think there’s an emergency. Then all of a sudden all of these people in pink jump out. Then you just see a smile on their face. Santa comes out, and the kids come running,” said Shelley Metzler, animal control officer with BARk.
BARk’s Needy Pet Drive helped out all kinds of animals, including dogs, cats, and even a pig.
Caine Shappelle and her cat MeMe are thankful for the bag full of food, treats, and toys.
“I was really excited,” Chappelle said. “I was like, ‘Meme got stuff. Yay!’ I probably wouldn’t be able to buy her a lot of stuff because we have a lot of people living in my house.”
“It makes you feel really good about what we’re doing and about the ability to help folks that are in need,” said Ed Washington, who dressed up as Santa.
Washington is a retired West York fire chief and was the animal’s Santa Claus.
“It even makes you think back to yourself and kind of be more thankful for what you have. It puts things into perspective for you,” Washington said.
“I feel sad because I wish everybody would have a home,” said 10-year-old Ja’zeah Stokes, a who volunteered with her mom and sister.
Volunteers like Stokes, Santa, and BARk’s mascot Molly the Boxer brought holiday cheer throughout York County. They visited homes in York City, West York, Manchester Township, West Manchester Township, and Dover Township.
“I don’t know how to express myself. I just smile a lot,” Shappelle said.
BARk needs donations year round. For more information on donating, click here.