Woman collects, donates toys for homeless pets

“I’m a big repurpose kind of person,” said Parylak, 25. “When I first had my foster dogs a couple years ago, they would go through toys like no one’s business. I figured it was a good way to repurpose. Plus it’s a win-win for everybody. People feel good when they get to donate their toys.”

In the last few months, Parylak, was home more because of a work-related injury at her city job. She posted a call for unwanted, in-need-of-repair pet toys on a Fishtown Facebook page, which soon spread across the city. Parylak found herself making 15 pick-ups stops in a run, and people like Abby Michaels started dropping off bags outside her house.

“It was awesome.”

Before long, Parylak had her own Island of Lost (Pet) Toys in her Academy Gardens home. Using scraps of old clothes, patches of new fabric, and squeakers bought on Amazon, hers is a one-woman Santa’s workshop that’s rehabbed about 300 toys so far with lots more waiting in the wings.

Now and then, having all those toys around is just too tempting for her own dogs, Terry and Polar, two rescue pit bulls.

“Sometimes when I’m sorting through them, Polar, my younger one, will come and try to sneak one. I usually don’t let them take them. But if there’s one they’re super interested in, I’ll usually go one for one. I’ll go to the store and replace it.”

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