Christina Tilden, of Porter, pets a black Lab mix she adopted from Lakeshore PAWS and picked up Aug. 17 during Homeless Animals Day. | Post-Tribune photo
For more on Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry, call 734-6936; go to www.TheKibbleKitchen.com; or find the pantry on Facebook.
Updated: September 24, 2013 6:19AM
Christina Tilden took some time out in the shade with her newly adopted black Lab mix.
Tilden, of Porter, got the dog from Lakeshore PAWS and picked it up during the second annual Homeless Animals Day, sponsored by the Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry and held Aug. 17 at Countryside Park.
The awareness event, which more than doubled in size from last year, was in many ways the perfect setting for Tilden to pick up her rescue dog.
“I think it’s a great way to get the word out about homeless animals who need homes,” Tilden said of the event, adding she’s had other dogs that were purebred, but decided to go a different route this time around. “I wanted to be able to give a loving home to a homeless pet that needed it, rather than go out and buy another purebred.”
Michelle Duca, founder and executive director of the Kibble Kitchen, which helps supply pet food to pet owners who’ve hit hard times so they don’t have to give up their pets, as well as to local rescue groups, said this year’s event had about 50 vendors, up from 19 last year.
Mid-way through the day, she estimated the awareness event had drawn 450 people, and added folks where lined up to get in when the festival began. She attributed word of mouth and good promotion to the event’s growth.
“I even turned down vendors who called last week,” she said.
Duca started the Kibble Kitchen in January 2011. The not-for-profit agency is branching out to offer low-cost spay/neuter services — a November spaghetti dinner will help support that mission — which is seeing increased interest.
The awareness event drew All Breed Rescue Angels Inc., a new foster-based rescue organization based in Crown Point.
Co-founder Amy Gorcowski was impressed with the event.
“The location is great. I had no idea this park was back here,” she said,” adding it was well advertised and her booth was busy the whole time. “I’m so excited to see so many people get their dogs micro-chipped. It’s all about education.”