Dan Sowers, a volunteer with the York County SPCA, photographs Cindy and Gib David of Springettsbury Township with a luminary in memory of their dog,
Dan Sowers, a volunteer with the York County SPCA, photographs Cindy and Gib David of Springettsbury Township with a luminary in memory of their dog, Wolfie. The shelter s will hold another Luminary FesĀ“tival night Sunday. (John A. Pavoncello photo)

Cindy David said she got a little teary-eyed as she gazed at two memorials for her dog, Wolfie, at the York County SPCA on Sunday.

One memorial is an engraved brick permanently installed in a walkway. The other was a temporary luminary, set up and lighted on the first of two nights during the SPCA's Luminary Festival.

They honor David's Shetland sheepdog who died three years ago.

"Even though it was foul weather, I went," the Springettsbury Township woman said. "It was really pretty."

The festival, which raises money for the local SPCA and memorializes pets that have died, will also take place Sunday at the shelter, 3159 Susquehanna Trail North.

"It's a bit somber. Especially if you're there and thinking about a pet that's passed on," said Melissa Smith, the SPCA's executive director. "But, overall, it's beautiful."

Light up: The luminaries are positioned on the edges of walkways and provide a lighted path for those who attend the festival.

People whose pets have died can purchase a luminary for $20 with all proceeds going to the SPCA, Smith said.

While the luminaries are to honor pets, Smith said even non-pet owners can take in the lights and walk through the display.

For David, the sight of the flickering candle for Wolfie caused her to pause and remember her lost dog.

David got Wolfie 15 years ago, and while Wolfie may sound like a name for a male dog, David opted to name her female Sheltie that because she looked like a mix of a fox and a wolf.

"We were very close," David said.

Luminaries: Credit for the festival lies solely with volunteers of the SPCA, Smith said.

They came up with the idea of the luminaries as a means to raise money for the organization and to give owners a chance to remember lost pets.

The volunteers brought their idea to reality, putting on the first-ever festival last year.

"It was their idea, and they brought the whole thing to life," Smith said.

A longtime supporter of the local SPCA, David said she likes the fact that the organization takes an interactive approach to fundraising.

"They (the SPCA) always come up with cool ways to support them," David said. "They really understand pet people."

-- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.

Luminaries

The Luminary Festival continues Sunday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the York County SPCA, 3159 Susquehanna Trail North.

Luminaries to honor pets that have died can be purchased for $20 each at the SPCA during normal business hours.

The organization is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call 764-6109 or go to ycspca.org.