The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 1, 2013

Breakfast to help local animal rescue

Staff reporter

TARBORO — A pancake breakfast fundraiser Saturday morning at Hwy 55, formerly Andy’s, will help local animal advocates rescue stray cats and dogs. The breakfast begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 10 a.m.

“We rescue cats and dogs from the shelter. We spay and neuter them and find homes for them,” said Peggy Harrell, president of Advocates for Edgecombe County Animals. She estimated that the all-volunteer organization rescues between 10 and 15 dogs per month.

The advocates will use proceeds from the breakfast for the cost of spaying and neutering the animals and treating them for heartworms. Tickets are $5 each and each ticket holder will receive three large pancakes, sausage, bacon and a drink. Harrell’s fundraising goal for the breakfast is $1,000.

Eugene Taylor, lead animal control officer for Edgecombe County, said working with the advocates to adopt out the animals is “definitely a plus.”

He said the number of animals in the county’s shelter varies and is currently at an average level.

“Right now I’ve got 23 dogs and five or six cats in the building,” Taylor said.  “We do everything we can to find them an adoptable home,” said. “None of the animals we bring in have a time frame … The majority of what we bring in we adopt out.”

Taylor encouraged pet owners to spay and neuter their animals, and to make sure their pets have identification, “so if they do get lost, they can be returned.”

“It’s just phenomenal how many dogs and cats die all over the country because of people not spaying and neutering,” Harrell said. “If everybody would take responsibility, we wouldn’t have to have animal shelters.”

In addition to rescuing stray animals, Harrell and the other advocates offer vouchers to pet owners to spay and neuter their animals. A $25 voucher earns the pet owner $50 off the veterinary bill.

Harrell started rescuing cats and dogs in the 1980s. In the 1990s, she founded Tarboro Trap, Neuter, Return, an organization that traps and neuters feral cats and returns them to their colonies. She founded the advocates in 2008.

“I’ve always had a passion for animals, even when I was little,” Harrell said, recalling her first dog, “Jack,” a Jack Russell. “I always felt connected to them.”

Tickets to the pancake breakfast are available at the door or in advance by calling Harrell at 908-1171 or sending an e-mail to  HYPERLINK ""