Hurricanes, earthquakes, and pit bulls, oh my. Three topics of conversation have almost overwhelmed the Lehigh Valley lately, and looking past the weather, we find the plight of Marshall.
Marshall is a young pit bull dog housed, currently, at Easton, PA’s Center for Animal Health and Welfare. While his story may not be national news, in the area’s tight animal advocacy community, it’s stirred up some emotions. It’s not every day that lawyers and journalists cover the case of an animal set to be euthanized, especially knowing that the animal is one of much vilified pit bull dogs.
Melissa Jantzen, is the woman behind the social media explosion in support of Marshall. Jantzen, a former volunteer at the Center, recalls that she started there simply helping to clean the litter boxes. However, mid way through July, 2011, she and her husband-to-be became full, certified volunteers. After that, the love affair began.
“We were at the Center every Sun, Tues, Thurs and Saturday. We spent all day there on Saturdays and Sundays. We started taking dogs to Petco every Saturday.” Jantzen and her fiance even took on the emotionally draining task of fostering. Like so many, the foster process failed for them, and a 7 year old lab mix, became family.
In this time, Melissa got to know a blue pit bull named Marshall. She worked with him, taking him to off-site adoption events and continually walking and playing with him while at the shelter facility. And it’s because of Marshall that the Center can expect an increase in non-monetary donations over the coming months.
“Marshall inspired me to step up and speak out, not just to save his life, but the lives of other shelter dogs for years to come. “
With this statement as a purpose, Jantzen and her supporters created the “Gifts from Marshall”. While the political battle over Marshall rages on, Janzten wants all animal lovers to know that this should not distract, nor penalize the hundreds of other animals in need. The Center’s existance means a second chance for many animals, and the Valley cannot afford to have that change any time soon.
On any given day, the Center for Animal Health and Welfare houses over 200 animals, including dogs, cats, and even the occasional rabbit. The Easton-based shelter cannot exist without the kindness and loyalty of those willing to give of their time, talents, and money.
“Gifts from Marshall” was established to encourage such giving. In the name of a blue pit bull dog, those who are willing and able are asked to give what they can. Litter, food, treats, toys, leashes, and other essentials are always in need. Soft, comfortable blankets and towels provide a sense of relief for the animals of the shelter.
Gifts can be taken directly to the shelter, located at 1165 Island Park Rd, Easton, PA 18042. When you arrive, make sure to tell someone that Marshall sent you.
Monetary donations are being taken to cover court costs and to convert into physical donations for the shelter. A donation account has been set up by Sunrays Pit Bull Rescue, a small, foster-based entity that has joined in the fight to save the lives of the Lehigh Valley homeless animals. Paypal payments can be sent to [email protected] Make sure to mention Marshall in the comments section.
For more information on Marshall, please visit the Save Marshall page on Facebook. If you’re looking to adopt your own loving family member, the Center is open 7 days a week for visits and adoptions. Available dogs for the both the Center for Animal Health and Welfare and Sunrays Pit Bull Rescue can be found online on Petfinder.com.
You don’t have to be a pit bull lover to want the best for the animals of this area. They cannot speak, but they’re actions and eyes can say a million things to anyone willing to listen. Help to be the voice for the Valley’s Voiceless.
“They have been abandoned and discarded. They need to know there are people in this world that will love them and value them. They give unconditional love without fail. They deserve to have it returned. “