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Pizza and puppies: What could be better?

Event for animal shelter continues despite rain

By Kassidy Hall | Contributor

Drew Kemp prepares a pizza

Drew Kemp, the general manager of Greek’s Pizzeria in Upland, prepares a pizza for one of his customers. Kemp arranged the event at Greek’s to give back to the volunteers of the Blackford County Animal Shelter.

The city of Upland has a population of less than 4,000. But when Greek’s general manager Drew Kemp advertised an upcoming “Pizza and Puppies” event on Facebook, the post was viewed over 13,500 times.

Customers were encouraged to bring in items to be donated to the Blackford County Animal Shelter chews, food, litter, etc. in exchange for a discounted extra large pizza. Twenty percent of all sales made during the four hour event were additionally donated towards the shelter.

The donation drive and fundraiser was scheduled come rain or shine. However, event plans were adjusted due to poor conditions on the day of the event.

“The original plan was to allow people to get pre-approved for animal adoption,” Kemp said. “You could literally come get a pizza and leave with a dog. Hopefully next year if the weather is nice, that will actually happen”

Jacci Weaver, a board member and director of the Blackford County Animal Shelter, decided it was best for the dogs to stay back and out of the rain.

In May, Blackford County broke ground on a new animal shelter. The building will include improved features such as open cat rooms so cats do not have to stay in cages for long periods of time.

“We take responsibility for every animal that comes through our doors,” Weaver said. “We’re hoping to get the word out about our shelter, especially since we’re so close to Upland and to Taylor students. We will have a lot more opportunities for volunteering or for people to come over and interact with the animals.”

Last weekend’s Pizza and Puppies event gained so much attention that the Grant County Humane Society also reached out to Kemp regarding the possibility of a future event.

The volunteers of the animal shelter hope each of their dogs and cats get adopted. With the additional help of community members like Kemp, resources and awareness are crowd-sourced to aid the shelter’s cause.


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