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Pig is a hit at Lakeshore PAWS adoption event

CalvRossi 3 Valparaiso feeds apple slices Ben potbellied pig during Feb. 22 open house for Lakeshore PAWS an animal rescue

Calvin Rossi, 3, of Valparaiso, feeds apple slices to Ben, a potbellied pig, during a Feb. 22 open house for Lakeshore PAWS, an animal rescue organization. | Post-Tribune photo

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For more on Lakeshore PAWS, go to www.lakeshorepaws.org, or call 476-7297.

Updated: April 4, 2014 6:08AM



Calvin Rossi, 3, sure liked feeding apple slices to Ben, a potbellied pig under the care of Lakeshore PAWS and awaiting an adoptive family.

The Valparaiso boy said the pig was cute and he wanted to play with it.

His mom Amanda Rossi, who also attended a Lakeshore open house with Ben’s two older brothers, liked Ben, too, and the rescue work done by the non-profit.

“My mom adopted from here just recently. She adopted a dog. We love animals, especially rescues, and the kids especially wanted to see Ben,” Rossi said, adding her next move was going home and convincing her husband that the family should adopt the pig.

The family has a dog and two cats and a nice yard, so Ben would fit in.

“They’re very smart and he’s very cute, and it would just be a different experience,” she said.

Animal lovers of all sorts came to check out the open house, held Feb. 22 in the space Lakeshore leases from Coco’s Canine Cabana, 405 Elm St. In addition to Ben and an assortment of cats and dogs up for adoption by Lakeshore, the Porter County Animal Shelter had a couple of cats looking for homes as well.

Lakeshore has had tremendous growth since it started almost three years ago, said co-founder and executive director Jeanne Sommer.

“We’re almost up to 900 animals adopted, plus the trap-neuter-release we do,” she said, adding Lakeshore started leasing space at Coco’s in September, which increased adoptions by 40 percent, because people had a physical building to go to. Between 15 and 25 animals are housed at Coco’s; the rest are in foster homes.

This year, Lakeshore plans to hold two to three adoption events a month — some on-site, and some in the community — to find homes for animals and generate donations.

Lakeshore’s initial goal was to find homes for 100 animals a year; this year’s goal is 350 animals, Sommer said. The rescue organization gets its animals from shelters throughout the area — Ben is from the Humane Society in Gary’s Miller neighborhood — as well as taking in those in emergency situations outside of the region.

“A lot of the public doesn’t realize there are a lot of great, adoptable dogs at the shelters,” she said, adding Lakeshore is a happy place “They’re all going to go to a better place.”



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