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by Susan Mikula Campbell
The SPCA is usually all about the animals - like Gabby, shown in the photo, taking a cooling dip in a plastic pool.
This Saturday, Aug. 25, however, the Niagara County SPCA will hold a very human event to raise funds to help care for sick animals and find homes for cats and dogs like Gabby. The SPCA is a not-for-profit organization that depends on donations.
Dog Days of Summer will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the shelter grounds, 2100 Lockport Road, Wheatfield. Admission is free.
Enjoy a Cruising for Critters classic car show, local artists and crafters, face painting, obedience and agility demonstrations by Lewiston and Town of Niagara Police canines, Flying Bison beer and Niagara Landing Wine Cellars and Schulze Vineyards wine, food, a basket auction and 50/50 raffles.
"There's a lot going on. I think will be fun for the entire family," said Bob Richardson, member of the SPCA board of directors. "It will be a good time and help support an organization that is on a good track toward saving animals."
With a new board and a new director, the SPCA has made major changes in the few months since protestors stood outside the facility objecting to the numbers and type of euthanasia previously practiced there.
"Certainly the SPCA has moved in a drastically different direction from what it was. ... Our current save rate is about 90 percent compared to about 50 percent last year. This is an opportunity for the community to help us continue along that path," Richardson said.
Because Dog Days of Summer is a human-only event and the shelter's employees and volunteers will be busy working with those attending, the shelter will not be open for adoptions or visits with the animals.
However, visitors are encouraged to come during regular shelter hours to meet Gabby and the other dogs and cats waiting for new owners.
Amy Lewis, SPCA interim executive director, said Gabby, a pit bull/boxer mix, was found as a stray in Niagara Falls and has been at the shelter since February.
"She's an active, goofy kind of girl. She loves to swim and likes to play fetch," Lewis said.
She's very bouncy and very exuberant, so a home with an older child who would play with her and take her for walks would probably be an ideal situation, Lewis said.
For more information on Dog Days of Summer, go to the SPCA website at www.niagaraspca.org.