He wasn’t in their family for very long but the indelible mark he left on their hearts inspired them to help other needy animals.
Stanley, an 11-year old German Shepherd from Cheshire, Massachusetts who died in April, inspired his owners Debbie and Jim Wojtaszek, to create “Cans For Stans,” a can and bottle drive to benefit two local animal shelters.
The Wojtaszeks adopted the dog last September from the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
According to Debbie, they knew that Stanley wasn’t going to be around for a long time, but nonetheless the dog instantly became a member of the family.
“We fell head-over-heels in love with him,” she said.
The “old-timer” was gentle and loving, she said. And, despite his age, was full of life.
“Nobody told him he was old,” said Debbie. “He was so energetic. He’d chase a ball until your arm would fall off.”
Stanley’s death left a “gaping emptiness” in the family.”
“I needed to do something,” said Debbie. And she did.
Saturday, Debbie and Jim were out in front of their local Petco in Pittsfield, Massachusetts collecting cans, bottles and donations.
Around 50 people, many of whom they didn’t know, donated either money or dropped off cans and bottles, she said. In the end, they received around $200 in donations.
The items they collected will be recycled with all the proceeds going to sponsor older pet adoptions at two animal shelters in Pittsfield, Massachusetts — the Berkshire Humane Society and the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter.
The money will help provide the animals medical care so that they will be more adoptable, she said.
The Wojtaszeks, who are planning to adopt another older dog at some point, will be continuing to do can and bottle pick-ups for the next few weeks as they consider their next step, which may include monthly pick-ups.
“I think Stanley would approve,” Debbie said.
For further information, call the Wojtaszeks at (413) 743-3836.