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Holiday tree honors pets; raises money for Aspinwall's fire canine

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
The Herald
Photo of Gage hanging from the Christmas tree in the Aspinwall Borough building. Space for deceased and current pets can be bought with money going toward Gage. Jan Pakler | for The Herald

A tribute to a family pet also can lend a hand to the Aspinwall Volunteer Fire Department.

A pet remembrance tree is on display in the lobby of the borough building.

For $5, a picture of a deceased or current pet will be placed on the tree with a ribbon.

A white ribbon will symbolize deceased pets and a red ribbon will honor current pets.

Money raised will go toward the department's canine officer, Gage.

Barbara Double, Gage's handler and a member of the department, said the idea came after brainstorming and researching fundraising ideas.

“Other organizations in other states have done something quite similar,” Double said.

Double said funding is needed to help with the regular costs of having a canine officer.

“The funds that we get from any of our fundraisers we do usually go to defray the cost of his insurance we have to pay and the cost of the food,” Double said.

Gage also needs a safety orange search and rescue harness, Double said.

Gage joined the department during the summer and has been certified, Double said. The two continue to train together twice a week.

“The training has gotten a little more intensive,” Double said.

Pictures for the tree will be accepted through New Year's Day. To buy a spot on the tree, send your name, name of a pet and if the picture is in memory or in honor to Aspinwall VFD 217 Commercial Ave. Aspinwall, PA 15215 or drop off the information at the borough building Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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