Looking for a way to liven up your Zoom and Skype business conferences? How about inviting a horse or two to the table? Or, you could take a tour of the Hookstown, Beaver County, farm where they live.

All visits and tours are now virtual, of course, because of social distancing concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. Pennsylvania Equine Rescue & Retirement Foundation has been getting requests from people who are bored and want to visit Penn, 17, Penny, 13, and other horses rescued from dire straits, including from auctions where they would probably have been bought by “kill” buyers who would send them to slaughter in the meat market.

Visits are usually welcome — but not now.

“We are trying to be creative” to feed seven horses at a time when the foundation’s “Hug a Horse” and “kissing booth” fundraisers can’t be held in person, said Kim Cannon of Aliquippa. She founded PERRF in 2010. The nonprofit gets no tax dollars and does not qualify for any pandemic grants or loans.

Volunteers who care for the horses with Ms. Cannon are Holly Joy Smallwood, Pat Cannon and Marcie Vallecorsa, all of Aliquippa; Heather Berry of Moon; Debbie Benedict of Brighton Township; Nancy Kraemer of Mt. Lebanon; and Deanna Mizikar of Greensburg.

Volunteers will shoot videos of the horses, especially bay Standardbreds Penn and Penny, named for the state where they now live. Penn competed on harness racing tracks and then was a Amish buggy horse. Less is known about Penny’s background, but she arrived at auction with a gaping hole where her right eye used to be.

Both were initially shy and fearful of people when they were rescued in 2016. But after gentle care and rehab, they are happy horses who enjoy meeting visitors.

“People at first feel sorry for Penny because of the missing eye, but she’s a very sweet mare who loves people,” said Ms. Cannon.

Horses will virtually visit an unlimited number of people at a corporate meeting — a $100 donation for 10 minutes or $250 for 25 minutes. A virtual private tour of the farm will be a $65 donation for up to six people.

“You send us your meeting link, and we’ll call in to show you the horses and farm,” Ms. Cannon said.

Horses might be available for virtual visits to birthday parties if there is interest in that, Ms. Cannon said.

You can contact her at info@perrf.org or call 724-777-4747. Donations can be mailed to 268 Pleasant Drive, Aliquippa, PA 15001. Information: https://perrf.org or the Pennsylvania Equine Rescue & Retirement Foundation Facebook page.

Virtual puppy shower

Dolly’s Dogs at Paws Across Pittsburgh is having a virtual show for puppies and dogs that have come into the rescue. If you donate an item from this wish list, you will get 10 tickets for a gift basket drawing.

Look at that Facebook page to see the dogs and puppies you’ll be helping. The mission is providing medical care and rehabilitation for dogs with disabilities or injuries.

The wish list includes Pedigree or Iams wet puppy food, Rachael Ray Dry Puppy food, puppy pads, Dream Bones, baby wipes, disposable doggie diapers size medium and large, Desitin and toys.

Donors can ship the items directly or order from Chewy, Amazon or other suppliers and have them shipped to Paws Across Pittsburgh, 2101 Thomas Drive, White Oak, PA 15131. That address may appear as McKeesport on some sites.

The winner will be drawn on April 28 at noon on Facebook Live.

“We’ve got several messages about delayed shipping,” said Diane Raible on the Facebook page. “Mail a copy of the order slip to be entered in the contest.”

The email address is diane@pawsacrosspittsburgh.com or send a message to the Paws Across Pittsburgh Facebook page.


Original source credited to: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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