Howls, Hounds benefit shelter

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By Bryan Marshall

Man’s best friend can dress up in a cape or wear their favorite mask Saturday, Oct. 25, to benefit the Grant County Animal Shelter.

The inaugural Howls and Hounds 2008 Halloween Dog Walk at Grant County Park will feature costume contests, adoptions, micro-chipping and photos.

“We were just sitting around thinking about ways we could promote the animal shelter and let people know that we have some awesome dogs up for adoption,” said Jessica Pelfrey, event coordinator. “We wanted to be able to do a fun event. I know that all across the country there are fun Halloween events for dogs where people can dress them up and bring them. We wanted to do that close to home.”

“We’re actually having it with the Monster Mash,” she said. “We hope that is going to drive some of the attendance for our first year.”

Registration will open at 5:30 p.m., and the cost will be $10 and includes an event T-shirt.

A one-mile walk will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the costume contests at 7:30 p.m. to follow.

Categories include Most Boo-tiful, Most Pet-rifying, Funkiest Fido and Best Person and Pooch Pair.

“We’ve gotten a good response so far,” Pelfrey said. “People we’ve talked to have already started buzzing about what they’re going to dress their dogs up as. My mom’s dog, Lucy, is a wiener dog and she’s going to be a caterpillar. I think we’re going to have a vampire there, too. We’ll have to wait and see. It will be interesting.”

Along with the festivities, about 10 dogs and 10 cats will be up for adoption and owners can have their dogs micro-chipped.

“It’s almost like a shot. It’s painless for the dog,” Pelfrey said about micro-chipping. “We put it in the back of their neck, and if they ever get brought into the shelter, to a veterinarian or they’re lost, they’ll be able to scan that to come up with their number, name and address so we can call the owners.”

Howls and Hounds hopefully will raise funds that the shelter needs, said Jeremy Souder, shelter director.

“What we need desperately right now is heat for one of the buildings we’ve added on to,” he said. “It’s going to be 26 or 27 kennels for puppies. We about have all of those done. We just have no money for the heat, and with winter approaching, it’s something we need.”

“We hope to make this an every year event,” Souder said. “We’re slowly adding more volunteers and more fundraisers. Our volunteers are going to places every weekend to try to get us out in the public more.”

All dogs in attendance must be healthy, vaccinated and be kept on a leash and under control at all times. Owners are responsible for picking up after their dog.

For more information, e-mail howlsandhound@yahoo.com or call the Grant County Animal Shelter at 824-9403.