People from around Mid-Missouri and beyond came out Sunday to support the efforts of People Helping Paws, a local animal rescue and adoption organization.
The fifth annual Caring for Critters event was held at American Legion Post 5, where attendees shopped among 20 vendors, bid at a silent auction, watched a kitten fashion show and enjoyed a fried chicken dinner.
The fashion show featured Lita, a kitten who was paralyzed but is responding to acupuncture treatment from Westside Veterinary Clinic. She's gone from not using her legs at all to using her front legs. People Helping Paws is hopeful the acupuncture will continue to help her make progress.
"We came because we're animal lovers," said Tiffany Sims, who came to the event along with her 7-year-old daughter, Sami Wolfe.
They are Odessa residents who were in town visiting family members. At home, they have five cats and one dog, and three of their five cats are "rescue cats" that might not have otherwise survived.
Even with all their pets, they're in the market for more — another dog this time.
"We're looking for a friend for our dog," Sims said.
Jessica Voss, of Loose Creek, brought daughter Chloe, 6, and son Gage, 3, to the event because they like animals and wanted to support a friend who was a vendor at the event.
They, too, were finding interest in some of the different offerings for people at various booths. After looking over the clothing at the Stitched By Heart booth, they bought a container of pumpkin butter.
Heather Moritz, the volunteer coordinator for the cat division of People Helping Paws, said organizers were hoping to make $2,000-$3,000 from the event. In the past, some of the events have brought in approximately $1,000, which has gone toward Black Friday purchases of cat litter for the organization.
If they make their goal, they'll also have money for medicine and other supplies.
"We specialize in taking care of cats that are too sick, injured, young or old, or that have special needs," she said. "Our goal is to be the very last safety net."
The group is currently seeking foster homes for 10 cats.