By Gisselle Hernandez, Features Editor
Murray residents and Murray State students had a furry weekend filled with sloppy, wet kisses courtesy of Murray’s Tractor Supply Store Co. event culminating their Pet Appreciation Week.
The nationwide farmer lifestyle company hosts Pet Appreciation Week every year in September, with deals on pet supplies, coupons and drawings hosted throughout the week. The main event took place Saturday at the Tractor Supply Store in Murray to celebrate pets. Those who wanted to become pet owners could admire the dogs the Humane Society of Calloway County brought out for adoption. The Humane Society has been a part of past Pet Appreciation events the Tractor Supply Store has hosted, having both community members and Murray State students volunteer for the event.
Cassie Barber, volunteer at the Humane Society, said the event is highly beneficial for the Humane Society, especially with today’s era of technology.
“There is a greater awareness leading to people adopting homeless animals,” she said. “There are things like Pet Finder, a website for online adoptions. These people who adopted a dog today saw her on the internet first, and they came to meet her and adopt her today.”
Aaron Tacker, store manager of the Tractor Supply Store, said the idea to do a Pet Appreciation Week happened because the company is pet-based and corporate rolled out the event to help what Tacker said was the biggest issue: pet adoption.
“[The Humane Society] being right up front at the event helps the traffic and people see [the pets] when otherwise they wouldn’t see them at the animal shelter,” he said. “As a company, we want to do that, something big that can help our customers but also have fun with it.”
Barber said there is a preapproved application families have to fill out before adopting a pet to make sure it goes to a good home. Barber reminded those wanting to adopt that it is no easy task to have a puppy, but that it requires constant care and commitment. That afternoon, a few pups were adopted, making families smile as they clutched the new member of the family.
Tanner Hall, freshman from Central Virginia, was one of the students who signed up to volunteer at the pet adoption booth. He said the event is something he would gladly attend every year.
“I’d like to think that everyone can benefit from having an animal in their life,” he said. “And I know this event in particular definitely will help the animals of the Humane Society.”
Among the Humane Society, there were other community groups like the Murray State rodeo team, who was grilling burgers for donations; Daisy, the brand of airguns, which had a small enclosed shooting range to raise money for the robotics team and the Animal Health Technology group.
Tacker said this year was the first time they had the rodeo team and Daisy being a part of the event in an effort to involve the community more.
“We kind of reached different corners because we hit a little bit of the youth, the college and even the animals,” he said.
Tacker said any and all pets were welcome. The event had a watering station, tennis balls and information on spaying and neutering for the pets that made the trip out to the store.
“It’s nice to see so much of the community come out,” Barber said. “And it’s good for the dogs to get socialized, to get petted, too, even if they don’t get adopted.”