On The Bright Side: Fair Celebrates All Things Canine

 In News & Events

Wanda Callagy – The Daily Star – 09/13/2006

DELHI — In the words of the Baha Men, “Who let the dogs out?”

They arrived in a variety of sizes, colors, ages and breeds to the Fourth Annual Woofs n’ Wags Dog Walk and Fair in Delhi on Saturday.

According to Ann Lukin, Heart of the Catskills Humane Society shelter board president, more than 200 canines and their owners/handlers attended the event at the American Legion field.

“It has been a wonderful turnout today,” Lukin said. “This event generates a lot of interest in the facility and the programs the shelter offers, and the money raised goes toward daily operating expenses, such as health care and medications for the cats and dogs here, as well as building maintenance and insurance.”

The fair included pet-related vendors, a DEP Canine Demonstration and presentations by the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Holistic Pet Wellness, and State University College of Technology at Delhi Vet Tech First Aid.

Nancy Stuligross brought members of her Girl Scout troop from Walton for the first time.

“The girls are working on their pet badges,” she said. “I thought this might be a good introduction for the girls to see the responsibility of care of an animal, and we hope to come up to the shelter to volunteer some time walking some dogs and visiting the animals there. It has been a good experience, and they are having a wonderful time.”

A new component this year, according to Director of Shelter Operations Deb Crute, was the Feline Tent to introduce many of the homeless cats and kittens housed at the shelter.

“We wanted to add a special event for them, which also included feline-care information and a photography contest,” she said.

“Each year we have had a different theme, and this year’s Doggie Olympics involves the guardian with their dog in relays and sprints along an obstacle course.”

Crute said the fair began several years ago, when the shelter staff attended a fundraising workshop at SUNY Delhi and held the first event four months later. It has become an annual fundraiser that helps with the daily operating costs of the shelter, which she estimated at $1,100 a day.

“We have supportive board members, and sponsors and we couldn’t do the work we do without the staff and the volunteers we have at the shelter on a daily basis, or at an event such as this, and the Delhi students help to make the event successful,” she added. “Last year four out of the 10 dogs we brought were found homes, and this year we hope to find more.”

Bob Lidsky and Beverly Travis attended the event with their dogs, Buddy and Irie.

“We came today to raise money for a one-of-a-kind event,” Lidsky said, “a social event for a great cause.”

For more information about the Heart of the Catskills animals and volunteer opportunities, call the shelter at 746-3080.