The first-ever EMC Pet Fair was a huge success! 18 organizations from across the pet and animal welfare industries were represented in this fun and informative event held on Thursday, June 20th. Complete with 2 NEADS Assistance Dogs, 1 Service Dog, 2 Greyhound breed ambassadors, and 1 adoptable (and adorable) Hound-mix pup, we certainly challenged the standard corporate structure! It wasn’t from a lack of perseverance, though, as we gained support from EMC Legal, Risk Management, HR, Facilities, and Security – thank you for trusting in this event and allowing us to collect the necessary paperwork to keep safety our #1 priority. And, of course, thanks to the EMC Disability Employee Resource Group (DERG) for being the event sponsor.
Several groups raffled off gift cards, baskets, and merchandise to 8 lucky winners and hundreds of freebies were given away at almost every table! But it wasn’t just about having fun – with an estimated 250 employees filtering through during the 3-hour exhibition, so many were actively engaging with the local volunteers and non-profit representatives to learn what they could do to make a difference for lives of homeless animals in the community. After all, the goal of the event was to raise awareness about the remarkable benefits provided by service animals and to promote pet adoption – “Adopt, Don’t Shop!”
Hands-down, the Pet Fair’s main attraction was Rainbow, a retired Assistance Dog from NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services) who now demonstrates her skills with her trainer and NEADS Director of Programs and Communications, John Moon. Not only do NEADS dogs provide valuable assistance to deaf and disabled Americans, they also serve as therapy dogs in the aftermath of tragedies such as the Boston Marathon Bombings. You can be a part of this wonderful organization by volunteering as a “Puppy Raiser” to help socialize new pups before their official training begins! In addition, NEADS is collecting donations to the “Pawsitively Strong” fund – created to ensure those most impacted by the Boston bombings have free access to assistance dogs to “bring them renewed independence and connection”. Visit http://neads.org to learn more.
Let's give it up for all those who helped make this event possible - THANKS!
EMC: Uma Parepalli, Rich Welsh, Dave Ford, Tasha Hilson, Chris Ferdinandi, Kate Skelley
Participants: NEADS, Baypath Humane Society, Buddy Dog Humane Society, The Wayward Hound, Happy Tails Doggy Daycare, Tufts Cummings Veterinary School, Especially for Pets, Paws In Play, BSL Awareness Walks, Really Special Animals, MA Vest-a-Dog, Greyhound Friends, Sheila Kamath (Certified Dog Trainer), Critter Visits, Pet World Natick, A Diamond in the Ruff, Last Hope K9 Rescue, Breezy Hill Therapeutic Riding Center
Looking forward to next year’s festivities!