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Fundraiser aims to help with new animal shelter facility

Aug. 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HURRICANE -- On Sunday, The Fireside Grille in Teays Valley hosted its "Goes to the Dogs" fundraiser for the Putnam County Animal Shelter, which is busily moving ahead on plans for a new shelter.

Tents were erected in the restaurant's parking lot to offer a variety of grooming and pet care services. Local Girl Scouts assisted in dog-washing for $5 or a dog dip for $3. "Peticures" were provided for $2. Photographer Robin Montgomery was on hand to photograph pets for $5. Local animal-related businesses were also present to promote themselves and the shelter.

Fireside Grille owner Judie Sydenstricker, present and getting her hands dirty at the dog wash, said, "It's beautiful weather and a great turn-out. We're happy to do this."

"I'm happy to be here to support the shelter," said Melissa Bias, who appeared with her dog Alice, dressed to kill in an Alice in Wonderland outfit.

Putnam County Magistrate Kylene Brown arrived with Gerty, her own shelter dog of lovably unknown parentage. The impeccably well-behaved pooch was available for kisses at the "Smooch-A-Pooch" booth at $1 each. "Business isn't that good," Brown said as her dog accepted pets from well-wishers. "She insists on giving it away for free."

Also on hand were several pets newly available for adoption at the shelter, including a Pomeranian mix puppy.

"We have lots of dogs available for adoption," said the shelter's director, Jon Davis, who accompanied the animals. "This event shows the public where the money is going to. We appreciate the public's support of all the fundraisers to make the project possible."

Karen Haynes, who has been instrumental in boosting fundraising for the shelter, was hopeful for the shelter's future.

"We hope to break ground on our new building in about a month and to move in in about a year," Haynes said as she assisted with dog washes.

Haynes said money from this particular fundraiser will help to stock the new shelter with equipment and supplies.

"I think that what Fireside Grille is doing here for the shelter is great," Haynes said. "I want to thank Belly Scrubs, Robin Montgomery, and Nathan Wills of Town & Country Supply for their help."

The shelter's next fundraiser will be the dog swim at Waves of Fun at Valley Park, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3. As the wave pool closes to humans at the end of the season, dogs will be welcomed for a swim with their owners before the pool is drained.

Chris Summers can be contacted at cordhaven@hotmail.com.