Springfield animal shelter offers plush animals to help spread hugs to children

Local News

(Dakin Humane Society)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dakin Humane Society is spreading hugs by offering stuffed dogs and cats called Plush Pals.

At Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, the organization wants to strengthen the community to help children during difficult times when contact and hugs have been minimized because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Plush Pals are available for purchase online at http://bit.ly/PlushPals. Dog or cat plush animals are eight inches high that are mailed out with a hug certificate and a picture of a special cat or dog who was cared for at Dakin Humane Society. If you purchase one, you also have the opportunity to give another one to a child at Square One, a non-profit organization that offers early education programs in Springfield.

“We began offering Plush Pals during the holiday season, and they are still available,” explained Dakin’s Director of Development and Marketing Stacey Price.  “Many people, including children, are hurting right now.  They can’t be with their friends, some do not have animals at home, and we want them to be able to connect with a loved one, in this case, a Plush Pal, and let them know that someone is thinking about them.  This effort gives individuals the option to provide a Plush Pal to the children at Square One.  Some of us have our pets to keep us company throughout the pandemic, but we wanted to do something for those who want that kind of companionship.  Plush Pals give them something to cuddle and love.”

According to a news release sent to 22News from Dakin Humane Society, Square One was chosen as the recipient of this effort because of its longstanding commitment to helping children in the Pioneer Valley, according to Price.  “Their dedication to families, especially in the face of this pandemic, is remarkable, and given Dakin’s mission to help animals and the people who love them, we thought this would be a opportunity to bring joy to children by giving them a special pet of their own.”

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