By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–This week’s fanfare over the adoption of two puppy brothers, one of them blind, serves as a small victory in a large fight which continues.
Operation Ava, at 3rd and Poplar in Northern Liberties, made national headlines with its quest to find a good home for nearly-blind Jeffrey and his sighted brother Jermaine, inseparable pitbull-lab mixes. They did it. Score one for the good guys, but the work goes on day by day, animal by animal.
CEO Claudia Gutierrez says she and her husband were kind of cornered into starting the nonprofit when their daughter Ava was deemed too young to work at another animal shelter.
“She told us we had to get involved and make a difference and so we took our love of animals and we opened a no-kill shelter, Operation Ava.”
So in addition to housing up to 100 animals, there’s a special focus on getting young people involved in solving the problem of abandoned and abused animals.
They also run a pet treats company called Priarie Dog Pet Products, which includes selling naturally shed deer, elk and moose antlers as chew toys.