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John Clark Goldsmith holds pet food drive

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:52 p.m.

For the last several years, the office of John M Clark Designer Goldsmith has been a staging point for donations to the Somerset County Humane Society. Owner Linda Clark said she and friend Beth Luther have been collecting items for the last five years and delivering them to the Humane Society each January.

Among the items they accumulate, Clark said people donate dog and cat food, blankets, jars of peanut butter, vanilla wafers, treats, as well as monetary donations.

“Me being an animal lover and good friend of Beth's, we started doing this and it's been a pretty good success. We have gathered up a lot of different items for the animals and hopefully by the end of the holiday season our back room will be filled with everything they need,” Clark said, adding that she has four cats and three dogs, all rescues.

Luther has volunteered in Somerset as a dog walker, has provided foster care for problem dogs and has adopted several dogs from the shelter. She said the reason she supports Somerset is because it does not have the same kind of support as some of Ligonier's local shelters. About 15 years ago, Luther said she went to Somerset to adopt a dog and noted that the facilities were not terribly good.

“It was horrendous,” Luther said. “It was sad and it was filthy. I left there crying and I thought, when I get a chance and I'm more established in life, I'm going to try to make a difference and help.”

Since beginning these annual food drives, Luther said the shelter has improved dramatically.

“The shelter is so much better than it was,” she said. “It's 150 percent better.”

Last year, Luther said she filled her pickup truck twice with donations, and raised almost $2,000 from people writing checks directly to the Humane Society. However, Luther went on, support for the humane society is a continuous thing, which requires these kinds of contributions year after year to maintain the facility and to further care for the animals.

“They are trying really, really hard to become what they want to be, and they just don't have the support,” Luther said. “Even giving a dollar helps; it all adds up and it really makes a difference. Anything that will help the animals is definitely worth it.”

Donations may be left at John C Clark Designer Goldsmith, 125 W. Main St. in Ligonier. Checks should be made out to the Somerset County Humane Society.

Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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