APL cat food giveaway wildly successful; supply gone in 10 minutes

Feb. 8—HERMITAGE — The parking lot of Hermitage Fire Station 3 on Maple Road was filled with cars Jan. 28 for a cat food giveaway organized by the Animal Protection League of Western Pennsylvania.

The giveaway was made possible by support from the Glenn and Jean Harnett Private Charitable Foundation.

Stacey Squatrito, president of the APL, said the giveaway began at 11 a.m. Sunday and was wrapped up within about 10 minutes.

"There were already cars lined up when we arrived to start setting things up," Squatrito said.

The foundation's donation allowed APL officials to distribute about $500 worth of cat food, or about 50 bags of cat food. Each vehicle received one bag Squatrito said.

APL officials recently learned they were approved for another grant of $10,000 from the charitable foundation, which is expected to go toward trap-neuter-return programs. That program involves trapping feral cats, spaying or neutering them, then returning them to the outdoor colonies they came from.

Squatrito said about 517 cats were spayed and neutered by the APL's TNR programs in 2023, despite not having any paid employees or a building of their own.

APL officials are raising money toward a building, with about $120,000 raised so far.

Squatrito said it is hoped the APL could build its own facility around Tails of Hope Inc. spay and neuter clinic in Hermitage. Officials with the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter already plan to build a new shelter near the clinic.

An upcoming fundraiser that will support the APL is scheduled for April 6 at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Sharpsville.

The purse bingo fundraiser will feature 10 bingo games, and the winner gets a designer purse. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and basket raffle, Squatrito said.

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