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Police: Connellsville community helped in successful campaign for the Fayette County SPCA

| Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 6:21 p.m.

Two weeks of collecting items for animals at the Fayette County SPCA, the Connellsville Police Department is happy to announce a plentiful pet bounty.

“It went above and beyond our expectations,” said police Sgt. Dan Sherbinsky. “The support for it was outstanding.”

Sherbinsky thought up with the idea of a two-week donation drive because the police department was criticized on social media that it wasn't doing everything it could to help pets whose owners were leaving them outside during the recent frigid weather spell.

However, police explained, they did what they could within the confines of the law.

State law mandates owners provide animals with at least a dog box so the dog can keep warm through its body heat and is insulated from the cold. That is all police could legally enforce.

The announcement of the two-week drive to collect food, cleaning supplies, blankets, towels, newspapers, cat litter and monetary donations was answered with great enthusiasm. The police were able to fill one out-of-order holding cell with items.

On short notice, Sherbinsky said, the first week alone yielded 130 pounds of dog food, 36 pounds of cat food, $215 in donations, three-and-a-half gallons of bleach and bags and boxes full of blankets, towels and newspapers.

The police stuffed the items in one car and drove to the Fayette SPCA, where the workers, who did not know about the drive, enjoyed a nice surprise when they saw the packed car.

“We're definitely going to make two trips up there,” Sherbinsky said of this week's trip. In fact, on Friday there were two carloads filled with items as well as $250 in donations.

Sherbinsky said several checks were coming through the mail. One came from Fairfax, Va.

With a successful drive complete, the police are considering similar drives and hope it continues to inspire people to help out.

“We ask people to not only continue supporting the Fayette SPCA, but also Fayette Friends of Animals,” Sherbinsky said. He said the shelters mostly need monetary donations for animal medication.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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