Pet events: Jupiter walk for puppy mill survivors

A 5-pound Maltese named Jupiter has come a long way since his adoption in 2013. Back then he never wagged his tail, didn’t snuggle with dogs or people, didn’t know how to play with toys, and had a history of biting people.

Jupiter is a puppy mill survivor. He spent the first three years of his life in a large commercial breeding facility. He was never walked, no one played with him, and he had very little socialization with dogs or people.

For the third year in a row, Jupiter is leading a walk to raise money for dogs like him. The Friends of Jupiter Pet Walk is April 23, 9 a.m.-noon at Boyce Park Tanglewood Shelter, 675 Old Frankstown Road, Plum (15239).

Proceeds benefit the Northcentral Maltese Rescue Inc. that saved Jupiter. Nicole Orlando of Plum and her husband, Dustin Feher, adopted him from that rescue.

The couple raised $7,000 in the first Jupiter walk and $9,000 last year. That money was used to save 70 puppy mill dogs. No one should buy puppies from pet stores that get their puppies from large commercial breeders. 

Many stores will tell you their puppies come from local breeders. But if you ask to see the paperwork that must accompany pups transported across state lines, you’ll see they came from far away.

Jupiter and his friend Penelope are taking agility classes at Western PA Search & Rescue Development Center in Penn Hills, which will bring equipment to Jupiter’s walk for others to try. There will also be pet photos by Ignite Photography, vendors, bake sales and activities for children. Cost is $20 for one dog and one person and $5 for each additional pet.

Go to to register in advance or register at the event. Can’t make the walk? Donations can be mailed to Friends of Jupiter Pet Walk, PO Box 14006, Pittsburgh 15239. Make checks payable to Northcentral Maltese Rescue Inc.

Street cats in turkey

Thousands of cats roam the streets of Istanbul, where they are fed, cared for and loved by residents and tourists. Seven cats are profiled in the documentary movie “Kedi,” which means “cat” in Turkish.

The movie is at the new Tull Family Theater in Sewickley, 418 Walnut St.,15143. Viewings are Saturday at 2:15 and 6:15 p.m. and Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1:30 and 5:15 p.m.

General admission is $11 or $8.75 for people 65 and older, college students with ID, children ages 10 and under, and groups of 10 or more.

Bark For Life

Dogs and people will walk together to fight cancer on April 29 in South Park. The American Cancer Society Bark For Life of South Hills runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Museum Building at the Allegheny County Fairgrounds just off Corrigan Drive.

Four-legged and two-legged walkers are encouraged to dress in keeping with this year’s Hawaiian Aloha theme. Registration is $25 per dog. The dogs of cancer survivors walk for free.

Registration is at 10 a.m. Opening ceremonies featuring cancer survivors and a blessing of the animals at 10:45, and then the walk starts. At 11:15 a.m., canine games and contests start along with doggie demonstrations and a Hawaiian Dance Demo by Improvement Through Movement Dance Studio.

At 1 p.m. the top fundraisers will be announced, and the South Park/Broughton Fire Department will drop numbered dog bones to pick a raffle winner.

Canine Good Citizen Certification is available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but you have to call trainer Diana Squicciarini to pre-register. Call My Little Dog Shoppe at 412-302-1337. There is a small charge that will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Go to for information and to register online.

Free first-aid class

There are still a few available seats in the free two-hour Pet First Aid Introductory Class offered by Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation. The class is May 27 at 10 a.m. at the Bridgeville Library.

Owners will learn how to help pets until they can get to a veterinarian. Topics include choking, heat stress and poisoning. A more detailed four-hour class is filled. Classes are taught by Karen Sable of Pet Emergency Services LLC.

To reserve a space in the two-hour class, call Deb Chebatoris at 412-220-7800. 

ER exam donations

In recognition of National Pet Day on April 11, University Veterinary Specialists donated all emergency exam fees that day to a new fund that helps people who can not afford expensive veterinary care for their own pets.

The total donation is $1,989, said A.J. Owen, spokesman for the facility that opened last summer at 2810 Washington Road, McMurray (15317). An exam is $99.

The fees are donated to the new UVS Cares Foundation. “We never want a pet to be turned away due to a family’s financial situation,” said Donna Horbal, foundation president. Go to to donate.