MOSES LAKE — Children and critters got acquainted at Peninsula Elementary Saturday afternoon, as Grant County Animal Outreach teamed up with Peninsula’s student council to hold a combination supply drive and adoption event.
The event was the brainchild of fifth-grade teacher and student council advisor Mark Radocaj, who has a special place for shelter animals in his own heart.
“My wife and I, for the 26 years we’ve been married, with the exception of one or two animals, we’ve always gotten dogs and cats from the shelter,” Radocaj said. Currently, he added, they have three dogs, seven cats and a snake, which doubles as Radocaj’s classroom pet.
“It just seemed natural to do something with the shelter, to try and help them out and get the kids involved with the community.”
The event was a success by any measure, especially for a first try. Radocaj estimated that 40 to 50 people came out to look over the animals. Three kittens were adopted and two dogs, one of which was snapped up in the first hour, he said. The other dog wasn’t actually at the event, but a visitor got to looking through animals on the shelter’s website and found a dog he wanted to adopt on the spot.
Besides the adoptions, the event featured a supply drive for Grant County Animal Outreach, focusing on cleaning supplies and different kinds of pet food, things the shelter is always in need of. No figures were available, but Radocaj guessed that somewhere between $300 and $400 worth of supplies were donated. Items were loaded on his flatbed trailer to be taken out to the shelter.
“When I dropped it off at the shelter, they were pretty happy to see some of the stuff we had brought because they had just run out of some of the items,” he said.
The folks from the shelter who attended were happy with the event as well. Agata Willis summed it up.
“We’re big on community outreach,” she said. We want to help children understand that it’s a big responsibility to take care of an animal. They’re all looking for that forever family.”
“We’re all about second chances,” she added.