Manassas Journal Messenger | Teen encourages animal adoptions

Kayla Cohen hauled her stash of animal treats, kibble and chew toys to the PetSmart in Woodbridge, where members of the Pet Assistance League waited with a menagerie potential adoptees Saturday.

Kayla, who is working on her Bat Mitzvah requirements, decided to try and make the world a better place by getting more of the league’s dogs, cats, rabbits and Guineas pigs adopted.

She figured maybe people would be more inclined to adopt a pet with additional incentive.

“When I adopted a pet, I felt really bad for all of the other animals I couldn’t adopt,” the 13-year-old Dale City girl said.

“I wanted to encourage people to adopt pets,” she said.

Kayla bought some of the treats herself and found benefactors to supply the rest.

“I used my allowance money and then I e-mailed different companies and they donated,” she said.

Initially, Kayla and her mother Arlene Cohen thought they might give away the goodies at the Prince William Animal Shelter, but the shelter never returned phone inquiries about the project, Cohen said.

The Pet Assistance League, which brings seven or nine dogs per week to the pet store for adoption, jumped at the idea.

“We bring dogs and cats generally, very seldom do we have rabbits and Guinea pigs, but when we have them we bring them,” said Jane Froelich, league vice president.

“I think it’s great. It’s kind of an incentive. Plus it lets her see the other side of us adopting the animals,” Froelich said.

One dog, three cats and two Guinea pigs were adopted from the store Saturday, Cohen said.

“Unfortunately it was a slow week,” she said.

Still, Kayla gave away six pounds of dog food, two pounds of snacks and 10 toys.

She will try to move the rest of the merchandise later, her mother said.

“We’re going to go back the weekend after Thanksgiving,” Cohen said.

Staff writer Keith Walker can be reached at (703) 878-8063.

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