Karen Burton Horstman, Mark Horstman, Kevin Hartley and Peter J. Burton, of Burton Funeral Homes and Horstman and Sons Country Store, display some of the donated pet items they have collected already this year for Operation: Christmas Pet Angels.
You can help these generous businesses build their pile of pet items by bringing donations — cat and dog food, toys, treats, litter and litter boxes, blankets, and the like — to any area Burton Funeral Home location (602 W. 10th St., 3801 W. 26th St., 2532 Norcross Road, or 525 Main St. East, Girard); Ericson Memorial Studios; or Horstman and Sons Country Store (3803 W. 26th St.) by Friday, Dec. 20.
The items will be delivered to Because You Care animal rescue organization and French Creek Adoption and Rescue before Christmas.
For more information on how you can help the staff of Burton Funeral Homes, Ericson Memorial Studios and Horstman and Sons Country Store make this a brighter Christmas for local animal rescue groups, contact Burton Funeral Home at 454-4551.
For more than a century, National Audubon has relied on thousands of volunteers for its Christmas Bird Count. This year, counting will be on Saturday, in Warren, Pa., and on Sunday, in Jamestown, N.Y.
The goal is to document all of the species in an established 15-mile-wide diameter circle, and everyone interested is invited to participate. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation action.
Volunteers should bring binoculars, bird guides and checklists, and should be prepared to brave all kinds of weather.
Beginning birders can join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. If your home is within the boundaries of a Christmas Bird Count circle and you have made prior arrangement with the count compiler, you can stay at home and report the birds that visit your feeder on count day.
Until last year there was a $5 charge to participate, but the program is now free, supported by donations alone.
For more information, or to participate in Warren on Saturday, call Don Watts at (814) 730-9204.
For information, or to participate in the count in Jamestown on Sunday, send an e-mail to Bill Seleen at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary, at email@example.com.
To learn more about the Christmas Bird Count, visit the National Audubon website at http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count.
Information about the Audubon Center & Sanctuary at 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, N.Y., is available at http://jamestownaudubon.org or by calling (716) 569-2345.
Volunteers will be wrapping gifts at the gift-wrapping booth at Millcreek Mall on Sunday, all day. Just bring all your gifts that need to be wrapped, and the volunteers will make them ready for giving, in exchange for a donation. All donations go directly to the shelter, to help cover operating costs.
On Sunday morning, Orphan Angels volunteers will be selling Erie Times-News papers at the westside Wal-Mart, 5350 West Ridge Road. If you’re out working on your holiday shopping, stop by and pick up a newspaper from the Orphan Angels sellers, and a portion of the sales price will go to the shelter.
The Erie Animal Network/A.N.N.A. Shelter Community Pet Food Bank helps feed local pets in need, and helps owners who are suffering from a temporary financial setback. The goal of the pet food bank is to keep more pets in their homes and reduce owner surrender and animal abandonment.
The pet food bank serves several hundred pets per week, every week, in the Erie area.
The food bank relies on donations and food drives to support this effort, and is always in need of wet and dry dog and cat food (the only requirement is that the food must be produced in the United States).
Donations can be dropped off at Erie Pack & Ship LLC, 5148 Peach St.; the A.N.N.A. Shelter, 1555 E. 10th St.; and Orphan Angels Cat Sanctuary and Adoption Center, 5439 West Lake Road.
If you are interested in setting up a pet food drive at your workplace or business, send a message to Erie Animal Network via Facebook at www.facebook.com/erieanimalnetwork.
Finally, you can drop off pet food donations — and purchase some treats for yourself — at the food bank’s bake sale/pet food drive on Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Tractor Supply Co. store, 2275 Downs Drive, just past Cracker Barrel.
Volunteers are needed to help wrap and organize the donated gifts on Dec. 18, starting at 10 a.m., at the Home Instead Senior Care office, 3910 Caughey Road, suite 220. Refreshments will be provided.
If you’d like to donate a gift for a senior citizen, visit one of Home Instead’s giving trees at Irock Fitness, 1541 W. Eighth St.; Real Training and Fitness, 1596 W. 38th St.; Best Fitness, 2147 W. 12th St.; Northwest Savings Bank, 850 Pittsburgh Ave.; Kmart, 2873 W. 26th St.; or Nautilus Fitness Center, 2312 W. 15th St. Simply select an ornament, purchase the gift noted on it, and return the gift to the place you obtained the ornament before Dec. 18.
Mud Puppies Self Serve Dog Wash, 3867 Peach St., is hosting an angel tree to benefit three local animal rescue organizations. Each ornament on the tree lists an item from the wishs lists of Because You Care, the A.N.N.A. Shelter, and the Humane Society of Northwest Pennsylvania.
Simply choose an ornament, purchase the item listed, and return the item to Mud Puppies (with the ornament taped to it), by Dec. 21. All three organizations, and the animals they help, depend on donations from the public to carry out their missions.
Mud Puppies is open Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m; Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 864-0032.
Registration takes place from 5 to 7:15 p.m. at the Boardwalk Complex. There will be a cookie eating contest as well as drink specials for patrons to enjoy until the run kicks off at 7:15 p.m. Participants, dressed in their Santa attire, will run across North Park Row and up French Street to Slugger’s Bar and Grill, 14 E. 10th St.
Following the run, all participants are invited to enjoy food specials, a costume contest, and a gift auction until 9:30 p.m.