Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team helps young entrepreneur help her community

JAZMIERE BATES, 13, creator of Kin of Duncan animal apparel, was among those providing free dog food to dog  owners in the Pittsburgh area, April 11, in East Liberty. During the coronavirus pandemic, Bates, along with Tammy Thompson of Circles Greater Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team, took out time
from their schedule to sponsor and lead the event. Bates is pictured providing food to dog owners in a vehicle. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

The Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team (PAART –www.nodogleftbehind.org), a not-for-profit organization that provides air and ground rescue for at-risk dogs, cats and other animals, is distributing 500-1,000 lbs. of dog and cat food to pet owners in need. Jazmiere Duncan, a 13-year-old participant in Circles Greater Pittsburgh’s Catapult: Startup to Storefront entrepreneurship program, initiated the idea.

To adhere to social distancing guidelines, pet owners needing food for their animals drove their cars to Gallery on Penn, 5937 Penn Avenue, in East Liberty near the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, on Saturday, April 11 for non-contact pickup.

“Jazmiere’s love of animals is so pure and a joy to watch,” says Tammy Thompson, executive director, Circles Greater Pittsburgh. “The love and care she takes with animals every day is just highlighted during this crisis. She is overjoyed to be partnering with PAART to ensure that ‘fur babies’ will be fed during this crisis, and so are we.”

Jazmiere’s passion and talent are exemplified by the clothing she makes for pets through Circles Greater Pittsburgh’s Startup to Storefront program. Jazmiere is a student at Provident Charter School in Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill neighborhood, and her creations are available at Gallery on Penn and online at https://www.etsy.com/shop/KinofDuncan

“Helping a 13 year-old entrepreneur provide pet food to her community’s most vulnerable residents reminds us that the future, while looking bleak at the moment, is filled with passionate people like Jazmiere who will carry the torch for all of us into a brighter tomorrow,” says Jan Kerr, a PAART  board member. (more)

“When we heard about Circles Greater Pittsburgh and Jazmiere’s story, we knew this was something that we needed to support,” adds Don Siegel, another member of PAART’s board. “Fortunately, we’re able to help the local community keep animals fed during this crisis, and Jazmiere motivated our entire team to give.”

Jazmiere’s mother, Jasmine Duncan, is grateful to PAART because “people are out of work and don’t know how they’re going to make ends meet. Dogs [and cats] are family to a lot of households, and this food donation can make some people feel secure knowing they don’t have to worry about their pets going hungry.”

Jazmiere Bates is pictured giving dog food to Merecedes J. Williams. (Photos by J.L. Martello)


Tammy Thompson, Executive Director, Circles Greater Pittsburgh helping out with giving away food.


About Circles Greater Pittsburgh

Circles Greater Pittsburgh connects people across socioeconomic lines to move individuals and families out of poverty. The organization’s programs help low income individuals expand their social capital and meet financial goals by bringing them closer to self-sufficiency. The organization is headquartered in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood and runs Gallery on Penn, 5937 Penn Avenue, a retail store where program participants such as Jazmiere Duncan can sell products they have made.

For more information, visit https://circlespgh.org/   About PAART The Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team (PAART) is a not-for-profit organization that provides air and ground transportation for at-risk animals. The organization was co-founded by Jonathan Plesset, owner of the Shadyside Inn, an all-suites hotel in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood, and Brad Childs, owner of The Dog Stop Upper St. Clair, a luxury pet resort and spa. To date, PAART has brought more than 12,000 animals from danger to safety. The organization is headquartered at the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.  For more information, visit www.nodogleftbehind.org or contact Jonathan Plesset, PAART, at 412.908.1800 or jon@nodogleftbehind.org





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