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Local nonprofit expands outreach nationally

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The Pet Education Project (PEP!) has organized its first branch outside of northwest Louisiana in Santa Ynez, Cali., at Old Yeller Ranch Rescue (OYRR).

With an average of 353 euthanized cats and dogs each day in Louisiana, PEP!’s mission is to reach kids globally to educate them on the importance of responsible pet ownership.

“This is a huge milestone for us,” said PEP! Founder and President Erica Falbaum. “PEP!’s message is a needed one, and the time is now to teach the children to have them lead the way.”

Founded in 2009, PEP! has educated 70,000 school children using entertaining PEP! Talks in more than 50 area schools; Happy Tails magazine and a children’s book, entitled “PEP! Squad, The 5 Steps to a Healthy Pet,” hitting shelves May 1.

“We are extremely excited to partner up with such an energetic humane education program,” said Executive Director of Old Yellers Ranch Rescue Dee Folgner-Diazm. “We believe that PEP! is the perfect fit to connect with our community’s youth. It is OYRR’s hope that with the provided knowledge and tools, the community can reduce the number of dogs and cats surrendered to local shelters or OYRR directly.”
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Future branch locations of PEP! include Dickinson, N.D., and Falbaum says there is additional interest from all around the world, including in Singapore, Guam, Canada, and Hawaii.

Those interested in becoming involved with PEP! may contact Falbaum at (318) 278-7534, or by email at erica@peteducationproject.org.