SUNBURY - Finding a way to raise awareness for homeless animals and mixing in a good time is what Marcy Benner, coordinator of a new event called "Paws in the Vineyard," has set out to do.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13, at Spyglass Ridge Winery, 105 Carroll Road.
The event will bring attendees out on a fall day to enjoy the grounds of the winery, wine, music and most importantly, to alert people of the many rescue groups in the area that have animals for adoption.
Benner recently attended an event called Woofstock held in Harrisburg, where it brought together a variety of people and activities devoted to pets and rescue awareness.
She realized how much of a success it was and wanted to bring something similar to the Susquehanna Valley.
Benner is coordinating "Paws In the Vineyard" with an organization called SUN P.E.T.S, who is presenting the event. SUN P.E.T.S. is an all-volunteer non-profit organization consisting of a board of directors, officers and members who donate their time and energy to help reduce the pet overpopulation problem in the area.
"We serve the residents of Snyder, Union, and Northumberland counties by helping low-income individuals and families in those counties with the cost of spaying or neutering their pets," Benner said.
"We also work to educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering," she added.
She said "Paws in the Vineyard" is a meet and greet that is intended to spread the word about adoptable animals.
Vendors will range from animal rescues, shelters and those who have products for people and pets.
Benner was looking for a kind of new audience to reach out to, so she contacted the winery and they were on board.
"We've seen how much fun and how successful Woofstock is and really wanted to be able to showcase the rescues in our Central Pa. area," she said. "There are many pets in need in the local area who are looking for a home to call their own."
She noted that it is estimated that four to six million pets are killed in U.S. shelters every year.
As the coordinator she said the Paws In the Vineyard's goal is to make the public aware of the importance of adopting their next family friend rather than shopping for one at a pet store or breeder.
"Pennsylvania is the 'Puppy Mill Capital of the East.' Lancaster County has the most, followed by Union County. We want to showcase the number of hard-working rescue groups in our area," Benner said.
The Paws in the Vineyard is a family oriented event and dogs and cats that are up for adoption will be featured at the event.
Those who wish to bring their furry friend, may. Benner said dogs who are well-behaved, leashed and up-to-date on their shots may attend.
Food will be available for purchase.
Spyglass Ridge Winery will provide the music for the day and a wine menu. The Frank Wicher Band, a five-piece country-rock band will perform.
The event is still open to vendors. More information is available at www.pawsinthevineyard.com and also is on Facebook.