Foothills Humane Society plans open house, gala Nov. 6

Published 3:14 pm Monday, November 1, 2010

Twenty years ago, Polk County got its first animal shelter, the result of years of planning and hard work by volunteers to relieve the suffering of abandoned, unwanted and abused animals in the community. It is still the countys only open admission animal shelter, and has served over 31,000 animals since 1990.

On Saturday, November 6, Foothills Humane Society will celebrate 20 years at the shelter and dedicate the new dog and cat facilities at a ceremony starting at 11 a.m. During the past year, the addition of The Carol M. Wellman Trust Cat Welcome Center, the Kitty Infirmary and the Dog House has increased the shelters capacity by 50 percent and provided intake and isolation facilities to keep the shelter animals healthier. Dog house runs have been sponsored in memory of Allan Merrill, in memory of Dandy, beloved boxer of Julie Gordon, and in honor of Steve King.

The public is invited to the dedication ceremony and the open house from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Pony rides for children, games, door prizes and demonstrations are planned. Sociable dogs on leashes are welcome to enjoy the festivities and join in the games. Fred May will be on hand to serve his hot dogs and chili as well as other refreshments.

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A highlight of the day will be Santa posing for portraits with owners and their pets by professional photographer Shelly Dayton. A donation to care for the shelter animals is requested.

The celebrations continue from 5 until 7 p.m. at Tryon Fine Arts Center. The Po Kitties Photo Contest Exhibit, featuring over 200 photographs, will take center stage. A reception will follow a brief ceremony honoring the 20th Anniversary of the Foothills Shelter and the photo contest winners. The public is invited to attend.