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Furry friends draw attention during university fundraiser

By Staff | Jan 30, 2019

Two-and-a-half-year-old Loki, who is an Australian Shepherd mix, "can't go with cats," but was searching for a forever home during the Furry Friends Fundraiser on Jan. 23. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — American author Thom Jones once said, “Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” For many community members and Shepherd University students, this truth was proved during the First Annual Furry Friends Fundraiser on Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fundraiser, which was held in the Rumsey Gallery of Shepherd University’s Student Center, featured five dogs from Briggs Animal Adoption Center, the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County and Paws Crossed Dog Rescue. Anyone who brought a monetary donation or item, such as dog/cat food, toys, beds, blankets, shampoo or brushes, was admitted into the room to pet and play with the dogs.

“We were reaching out to some of the local shelters and groups in the area, and these were the ones who were able to attend today,” said Shepherd University Interim Coordinator for Multicultural Student Affairs Keira Cale. “We have had such good community support. This is a pretty highly attended event — there have been at least 150 people here so far.”

According to Cale, the donations from the event were evenly divided between the three organizations. Along with raising donations, Cale said the event, which is part of a year-long campus service competition, was also intended to raise community awareness for the need to adopt dogs and cats from local organizations.

“I think it’s really awesome that we’re doing something for the pets in our area. Often, we focus on human endeavors, but I think this is an over-looked part of our community,” Cale said, mentioning Shepherdstown is known for being a dog-loving town.

Shepherd University sophomore Krista Poland plays with Mia, during the Furry Friends Fundraiser in the Student Center on Jan. 23. Tabitha Johnston

“It’s really good for our students and community members to learn more about these organizations,” Cale said. “I think the take-away from this, is learning what resources are out there, and what we can do to help the animals in our area.”

For Shepherd University sophomore Krista Poland, supporting the fundraiser was well worth her donation.

“I love dogs, and thought it was a great idea to have adoptable dogs and to support the local shelters,” Poland said, as she played with a tiny dog named Mia. “It’s a great way for students to relax, because we are stressed out — it’s truly great.”

Two of the dogs at the event were available for adoption, one of which was brought by BAAC. Two-and-a-half-year-old Australian Shepherd mix, Loki, relaxed on the floor, as a group of college students petted him. According to BAAC Development Coordinator Hilary Legge, Loki would be a great dog for almost anyone.

“We just brought Loki here — he’s available for adoption. He’s a great dog, very loving. He just can’t go with cats,” Legge said, before mentioning the need for animal adoption from the shelter. “We have about 45 dogs and 100 cats available for adoption.”

A furry friend enjoys a drink of water, in between playing with college students in the Student Center on Jan. 23. Tabitha Johnston

According to Legge, the event was not only an opportunity for the animal shelters to gain awareness, but also to make sure Loki got some personal attention.

“The hope is that people will come by and check out what other organizations are available,” Legge said. “And then there’s the plus side, of Loki getting so much love and appreciation today.”

According to Legge, cats were originally planned to be included in the event, but were not brought, due to concerns of them catching colds from being in a different environment.

To learn more about PCDR, visit www.pawscrosseddogrescue.com. To learn more about BAAC, visit www.baacs.org. To learn more about AWSJC, visit www.awsjc.org.

A group of Shepherd University students pet dogs from Briggs Animal Adoption Center, during the Furry Friends Fundraiser at Shepherd University's Student Center on Jan. 23. Tabitha Johnston