By LOIS KINDLE
The Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort no-kill animal shelter in Ruskin is sponsoring its first May Day Market for C.A.R.E. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 1 at the Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 First St., Ruskin. Admission is free.
The family friendly, outdoor event is a fundraiser for the shelter and will also benefit small, local businesses, said Cheri Schumacher, chairwoman of C.A.R.E.’s outreach committee.
“It’s being held the Saturday before Mother’s Day, so come out and shop for gifts for your favorite human or pet mama,” she said. “We invite you to join us to shop local and support local to benefit C.A.R.E.”
The CDC-compliant market will include 25 to 30 vendors; a parade of up to 50 of the shelter’s alumni animals and their humans; raffle for individual items like quilts, themed gift baskets and assorted gift cards; music by DJ Seth “Doogie” Dugan; demonstrations; food truck; and a “Name the Kittens” contest.
Fifteen-minute demonstrations by Shore Bliss Yoga & Wellness, an event sponsor, will take place at 10 a.m. and noon. Other event sponsors are Drew’s RV Sales, Service and Parts; Apollo Meats; Iron Rock Insurance; Palaveda Air Conditioning; Latitudes Tours; and the Firehouse Cultural Center. Southshore Pet Grooming will be on hand to share some tips for keeping your pet looking its best.
Vendors include Bark ‘n Purr Pet Emporium, MJ Natural Resources, Pauline’s Art & Soul, Michael Sadler Woodwork, Sweet Pickens recycled yard art, silversmith Kate Hamilton, Knot Only Beads & Gifts, Firefly Halo stained-glass art and more.
The Alumni Pet Parade will take place at 11 a.m. C.A.R.E. is requesting owners to donate $15 in support of the shelter to take part. Costumes are optional.
And for a $5 donation, attendees can help name one of six, 5-week-old kittens currently living at and being cared for by the shelter.
Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome to attend the event.
Aside from a couple of employees, C.A.R.E. is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization funded totally by public donations, adoption fees, fundraisers and occasional grants. It’s the only animal-rescue facility physically located in the South Shore area.
The C.A.R.E. shelter is located on a three-acre parcel of land at 1528 27th St. SE, Ruskin. It was opened in 2001 with the goal of rescuing, rehabilitating and finding permanent homes for stray and owner-relinquished animals. Due to its limited size, the shelter is currently home for up to 17 dogs/puppies (depending on their sizes) and 30 to 40 cats/kittens.
A capital campaign is under way to build a larger, more modern shelter, improve its operational efficiencies and increase the number of animals it can take in. For more information, to donate or become a volunteer, visit www.careshelter.org or call 813-645-2273.