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Those planning to attend next weekend’s performances of “The Nutcracker 2012” are urged by staff and students of Arts in Motion studios to open their hearts to help the county’s homeless pets.
Members of the audience are asked to donate pet food prior to each performance in the O’Brien Theater of Roane State Community College’s main campus.
Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 2. School performances will start at 9:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Nov. 29.
“The 2012 Nutcracker is a true mix of the giving season: fine arts and the value of giving back to the community,” said Teresa Cochran, who is coordinating this year’s effort with Tina Crisp.
Though the Roane County Animal Shelter encourages pet population control through spaying and neutering, dog and cat food is its greatest need, said Stephanie Kolski, shelter office mana-ger.
The shelter takes in “nearly 240 animals per month,” said Carmon Reed, animal shelter spokeswoman. “As of Nov. 1, 2012, we have taken in 2,266,”
“With minimal money budgeted for food, we greatly depend on the support and invite all members of the community to contribute, adopt and visit our animals here,” she added. “Then, you can put faces with the numbers.
“We also strongly encourage everyone to have their pets spayed and neutered.”
Arts in Motion owner Jennifer Austin, an animal lover herself, initiated the pet food drive years ago, Cochran said.
Last year, the cast of “The Nutcracker 2011” and public donations yielded a ton of food for the shelter.
Containers to collect donations will be available in the theatre lobby prior to each performance.