By Autumn Hall
Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue Inc. welcomes families to its “Breakfast With Santa Paws” benefit this holiday season. Taking place at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, 7001 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls, “Breakfast With Santa Paws” will be from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.
Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue is a non-for-profit organization that protects the health and welfare of abandoned, unwanted or homeless dogs. They also provide shelter for these dogs until they are adopted out of the organization.
Prior to being adopted, Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue will evaluate, vaccinate and spray or neuter the dogs. This is done by licensed veterinarians.
All services at Heart of Niagara are by pre-approved appointments followed up by a private appointment afterward.
“The dogs can get stressed out so we like to keep things low-key, and quiet, with soft music playing to keep it peaceful for them. And you can never hear them; they are either sleeping or chewing on their bones,” said Kathy Nowakowski, director at Heart of Niagara.
At Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue, there are no set hours and no paid staff; volunteers are always welcomed to either walk the dogs, help out at events, or even hold the dogs. The more people who volunteer, the more dogs can be adopted or fostered out and have a better chance at life, Nowakowski said.
Located at 3652 Ewings Road in Lockport, Heart of Niagara has cared for over 700 animals from surrenders and strays. They also provide a comfortable setting for dogs that need extra care.
On Dec. 8, families throughout the area are invited to learn more about Heart of Niagara.
Breakfast will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and there will be pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, sliced fruit, coffee, tea and juice provided. Activities for the kids will include face-painting, arts and crafts, and Santa Paws will be there for photos. Also included will be a basket raffle. Those who would like to donate a basket for the raffle can contact Heart of Niagara ahead of time.
Heart of Niagara also welcomes donations. If one would like to donate, Purina One Dog Food, large dog biscuits, and Nylabone products are accepted, as the dogs are used to specific food brands. One can also donate other items and cash, items such as Kong Toys and Chew, rope toys, stuffed animal toys, etc., are accepted. All proceeds will benefit the dogs that are in the organization.
Nowakowski said Heart of Niagara is looking to expand and welcome cats in the future.
“Fostering them are harder because people want to surrender them when they get older, because they only want them as kittens. We’ve tried in the past and it didn’t work out. We get calls all the time about cats, and if they could foster them, or surrender them to the rescue,” she said.
Tickets are available for “Breakfast with Santa Paws.” Children ages 4 and under are admitted at no charge, while kids ages 5 through 12 are $10, and ages 13 and up are $13. Proceeds benefit Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue Inc.
To purchase tickets or to donate to Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue, visit www.heartofniagara.org or call 716-345-7129.