The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 28, 2011

New charity to aid pets

'Cat mayor' becomes symbol of effort

MIFFLINBURG -- Arthur has been spotted at the Christkindl Market, a community reading of the Declaration of Independence and at check presentations.

He shows up at community meetings and enjoys greeting people at church.

For years, he has made his home around Fifth and Green streets, and doesn't like to miss any social events.

He has his own personal and professional Facebook pages, with a number of followers.

There is no question he loves humans -- and the spotlight.

Now, he is the face of a new charitable organization to help others just like him.

The 17-year-old Maine Coon cat, unofficially called the "cat mayor" of Mifflinburg, is the namesake of "Arthur's Pet Pantry," on its way to becoming an official charitable organization in the Valley aimed at collecting and distributing food to pet owners who find themselves in financial distress and unable to provide the necessities for their furry friends.

Need is great

Pantry founder Cindy McEvoy, of Mifflinburg, said the need is great.

"People around here have a hard time feeding themselves," McEvoy said.

Judy Muchler, of Mifflinburg, who is helping with the charity, said 40 percent of students in the Mifflinburg Area School District are receiving free and reduced school lunches.

They are sure animals are suffering.

In addition to providing pet food, they plan to supply pet owners with information about immunizations, spaying and neutering.

"It's a responsibility," Muchler said, "like having a child."

The number of pets surrendered by their owners to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals center in Danville, totaled 614 from Jan. 1 to Nov. 23, 2010. In the same period in 2011, that number rose to 636.

"There are always going to be strays. ..." said Wendy Marano, spokeswoman for the PSPCA headquarters in Philadelphia, "but the fact that these animals are ones that actually had a home, and for whatever reason the owner could no longer care for them -- it's significant."

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