Library participating in rescue program for abused, abandoned dogs

The Newcomerstown Library is participating in Operation Santa Paws for abused and abandoned dogs in order to help area shelters and rescue organizations.

Now through Dec. 31, library users who owe fines can "pay" their fines by bringing in items needed by shelters and rescues as well as new pet toys and treats for the abused and abandoned animals in their care.

One donation per overdue item will take the place of the fine on the book, video or DVD returned. Old outstanding fines can also be "paid" by donating one item per overdue item. Fees for lost or damaged items cannot be waived.

Items needed include blankets, towels, paper towels, cleaning supplies, water and feed bowels, chew toys for dogs, cat toys, treats. (Toys and treats must be new and in unopened packages.) Forever homes are always the best gift for a homeless dog or cat.

Visit the library for a detailed list of needed items and contacts for area shelters and rescues.

Operation Santa Paws

During the holiday season, extra help is needed for the thousands of abused and abandoned animals in the care of local animal shelters and rescues all over the world. One local grassroots organization from Long Beach, Calif., "Operation Santa Paws," is helping by spearheading a canine/feline toy/treat drive to benefit less-fortunate pets this season. Justin Rudd, organizer of this annual holiday effort that started in 2001, is encouraging animal lovers to purchase a new dog or cat toy, treat or supply for local shelters and rescues.

Operation Santa Paws seeks donated pet toys for shelters and rescues to improve the health and demeanor of those pets while reducing their stress to increase the animals' chances of being adopted. The simplest toys can make the animals much more comfortable. Cats enjoy rolling toys, such as small plastic balls or other "batting" toys that can be hung from cage doors, while dogs tend to prefer items like the heavy-duty Kong rubber chew toy.