Residents of Watertown and the surrounding area demonstrated their support of the SPCA once more over the past weekend. On Saturday, the shelter hosted a huge "three-in-one" fundraiser that brought out dog walkers, chicken BBQ fans and rummage sale aficionados eager to root out treasures from the depths of the mountains of loot heaped on the shelter's grounds. According to the agency's director, Doug Marlow, the event was a rousing success with the shelter realizing over $3000 in donations. "I am constantly amazed by the generosity of this community" in support of the Jefferson County SPCA, said Mr. Marlow.
The fundraiser was a huge task requiring many volunteer hours to coordinate, with most of the work taking place behind the scenes. The SPCA normally hosts an annual yard sale consisting of donations collected from the community. This year it was bigger and better than ever before with the addition of the dog walk and a chicken barbecue, which were included at the shelter staff's request. Mr. Marlow credited Jon Hunt, longtime shelter manager, with the idea of including the barbecue, complete with side dishes, drinks and desserts, all prepared and donated by enthusiastic staff and volunteers, who also served up the delightful buffet for a modest donation of $7 per meal. Mr. Hunt and his well-coordinated crew of family and friends even stayed up all night on Friday just to prepare for the sale and to ready the barbecue pit for morning. If not for this kind of dedication such events would not take place.
Saturday dawned bright and clear, the day promising both fun surprises and a heartfelt sense of accomplishment. As the morning gradually morphed into a hot summer day, the patrons piled in. Staff and volunteers were joined by Director Marlow and many of the members of the SPCA Board of Trustees, who came to help and to share in the camaraderie.
Eager individuals with dogs and puppies, many with more than one canine friend in tow, lined up for the dog walk at 11:30. It was obvious pet parents were as pleased to parade their pooches as the dogs were excited to be included. A wide assortment of breeds were in evidence, from a tiny Poodle to a large Mastiff. Nevertheless, everything flowed smoothly and there were no problems. It seemed everyone knew it was a special day and the idea was to just have fun.
Shelter dogs enjoyed the outing as much as those who came to the party with their families and before long the march down Water Street was in motion, led by a small Chinese Crested who seemed proud to lead the parade. Others, such as a small white poodle lounging in a baby stroller, chose to sit out the activities away from the hot sun, noses twitching in anticipation of the simmering chicken luncheon. Dogs of all breeds and sizes joined in the day's fun and several adoptions of the canine and feline persuasions also took place a midst of the day's events.
All of the funds raised will stay in this community and directly benefit the SPCA's animal residents. Watertown is truly fortunate to possess such a caring agency in the community. The staff's dedication to their work is coupled with a true desire to do right by all of the shelter's homeless animals. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say the "temporarily displaced" animals. Because sooner or later they all find a home due to the tireless work of the Jefferson County SPCA.
Education is a key component of the process and the public is encouraged to visit, consider volunteering, ask questions and provide insight. Placing the displaced is, after all, a team effort!
The SPCA of Jefferson County is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding permanent and loving homes for homeless pets, providing them with a healthy environment, and promoting the humane treatment of animals and responsible pet ownership through education and community awareness.
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