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- 'Howl-iday' activities
The aspca christmas cards lab, face sprinkled with sugar-like white, lay quietly in his kennel. His struggle to stand and walk didn't go unnoticed. Staff at the Casper Humane Society (CHS) estimated the dog's age to be between 11 and 13. They waited for his owner to come looking for him. Henry, as the staff later called him, came in as a stray. But no one claimed him. Henry's sweet, gentle spirit touched the hearts of both CHS staff and volunteers. His physical pain was evident, but his friendly, gentle demeanor didn't waver. Henry was given treatment for the arthritis captivating his body as his temporary caregivers waited for a new family to adopt him.
Nearly two months passed. On Nov. 3, Henry received not just a new human family, but a whole new life, sharing a country home with people, four other dogs, and a few horses. A member of his adoptive family posted on Facebook: "He is kind and loving and just grateful to be here with us ... He is a treasure - a gift." It was a story celebrated on the CHS Facebook page.
"Henry's story was seen by more people than any other Facebook posting - 10,944 in fact - more than any other animal since I've been here," said Angela Letz, CHS shelter director. "His [adoption] story had 617 likes and 57 comments. It was incredible!"
Adoption stories have transpired for the CHS for nearly 60 years. The organization started in 1956, according to CHS Board President Sally Adams-Reinhart. The history and positive stories continue because the community supports the organization.
The CHS receives no city, county, state or federal funds; it relies on the generosity and care of Casper's citizens and also works with other organizations in the community. For example, the Hector Foundation awarded money to the CHS to help purchase sliders for the Bunkhouse, a building addition that still awaits completion in order to house more dogs and cats.
"We still need fencing and sliders," Reinhart stated, "and we're still short of funds to complete the project."
Community members will have an opportunity to help support the CHS during a few upcoming events. On Saturday, Dec. 7, Grant Street Grocery will host "Happy Howl-iday," a wine and cheese tasting featuring four or five different wines and cheeses. Various vendors will be on hand selling wares with part of the proceeds being donated to the CHS. The event runs from 12-4 p.m. and features handcrafted jewelry and at least one author with inspirational dog books. Tickets for several raffle items also will be sold, said Reinhart. Those items include a $500 meat package from Grant Street Grocery, a $100 VISA gift card, a custom-made dog bed, a bottle of Wyoming Whiskey, and a home visit from Santa Claus.
"All proceeds from the raffle go to the Humane Society, and vendors will give some sale proceeds back to us," she said.
Twelve different raffle items are available. Drawings will be held weekly through Dec. 20, the final day of the raffle, Reinhart added.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, Pet Photos with Santa takes place at Market Square in downtown Casper. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., people can get photos of their pets taken with Santa Claus; a portion of the photographer's $10 sitting fee will go to the CHS, Reinhart said. This event is held in conjunction with Tails of the City, a pet supply store in Market Square, which will be hosting an open house.
The CHS's annual Giving Tree began Nov. 29. A decorated Christmas tree provides tags by which potential donors can give a variety of supplies, meeting many of the shelter's needs, Reinhart explained. Items such as cleaning supplies, paper goods and pet food are daily requirements, and community members can help the shelter help the animals in its care by donating these items.
"We especially need Purina Cat Chow," said Reinhart. "We've got so many cats; we go through it like crazy."
The Giving Tree, located in center court at Eastridge Mall, will be up until Christmas Eve.
Pictures and descriptions of some of the adoptable pets will be available at the events, and at times on weekends some of the available dogs will make an appearance at the Giving Tree, Reinhart said.
One of the dogs hoping to find a home during this holiday season is Snipe, a 9-year-old male Pointer mix. Like Henry, Snipe suffers from arthritis, but his friendly personality doesn't waver as this older boy awaits his forever home. Perhaps, like Henry, Snipe will receive that special gift of a new, loving family so he, too, could have a "Happy Howl-iday."
To learn more about the upcoming events or the pets available for adoption, call the CHS at 265-5439 or go to www.chswyo.org.