It is perhaps the lesser known of two neighboring facilities that provide temporary homes for dogs, and its biggest fundraiser of the year will be held Saturday, Oct. 14. The sixth annual Barktoberfest will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Holtfield Station in Hillsboro.
The event supports the Highland County Dog Pound Volunteer Program, which is completely separate from the Highland County Humane Society Animal Shelter.
According to Terri Crothers, a dog pound volunteer, the animal shelter is operated by a paid staff and can keep dogs for a longer period of time, while the Dog Pound Volunteer Program is operated by volunteers who try to to adopt dogs out before the short time they can stay at the dog pound expires.
Crothers said that while the county pays a salary for a dog warden and an assistant, plus the utility and food bills, the volunteers work with numerous dog rescue groups and pay for the associated costs.
Before the volunteer program started around seven years ago the euthanization rate at the dog pound was around 85 percent, but it is now down to about 6 percent, according to the volunteer program’s Facebook page.
“Our group works so hard with other rescue groups that the only ones we euthanize now are ones that are aggressive or so sick or injured that they can’t be fixed,” Crothers said.
If a dog does have to be put down, Crothers said, it is now done with shot from a veterinarian rather than in the “death chamber” the dog pound eliminated about four years ago.
If a stray dog is brought to the dog pound it is “put on hold” for 72 hours to give the owner time to claim it, Crothers said. After that it can be adopted or euthanized. If an owner surrenders a dog to the pound, it can be adopted or euthanized immediately. If the wardens pick up a dog that has bit someone, Crothers said it is held for 10 days to determine whether or not it has rabbies.
On the other hand, the animal shelter can keep dogs for an unlimited amount of time.
Crothers said that about four years ago the dog pound worked with the Ohio SPCA to get rid of its death chamber. She said the pound now works with more than 100 rescue groups and that most of its dogs are sent out of state with many ending up in Michigan.
The Barktoberfest will help cover some of the volunteers’ expenses.
“One hundred percent of all money raised will go to the dogs of Highland County that are housed at the dog pound, either through vaccines to reduce the spread of Parvo and other diseases, emergency vet care for dogs picked up by the warden that may be sick or injured, or gas to drive dogs to Chillicothe to our rescue transport chain,” Crothers said.
Six hound/lab mix puppies that a foster family has been raising will be available for adoption.
“The pups have been well socialized and are doing well on house, crate and basic manner training to ensure they become great members of any family,” Crothers said. “They will be estimated between 40 to 70 pounds at adulthood and medium to active energy dogs. We are not able to hold pups for anyone, so you will need to plan to come out early if you wish to adopt one of these cuties.”
There will be food for sale including homemade pumpkin rolls and chocolate chip cookies, a raffle and silent auction with items like a TV, tickets to the Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium, artwork, baskets of goodies, gift cards for Frisch’s and Ellie Mae’s, and more.
The volunteers have painted pumpkins that will be for sale, and for the smaller kids there will be a bounce house and carnival games.
There will also be activities for dogs. Lacie Evans Photography will be taking portraits with pets and anyone else that wants to be in the picture. Each session will include a 4-inch by 6-inch print. There will be a Cutie Pie Pet Photo Contest where supporters can enter their pets to vie for the title of Cutest Pet in Highland County, and there will be a costume contest/pet parade at 1 p.m. with prizes awarded to the top finishers.
The volunteers will have a grill going for lunch, and from noon to 3 p.m. Chaotic Karaoke will hold a karaoke contest with a cash prize for the winner. Several vendors will also be set up.
The adoption fee is $57 per puppy and includes its first set of vaccines, worming, and a voucher toward spay/neuter.
The fee is the same for puppies adopted at the dog pound. The pound is located at 9357 SR 124, or “on top of the hill by the red barn,” Crothers said. Volunteers are there from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to noon the first and third Saturday of each month if anyone wants to visit the dogs.
“There truly is something for everyone at this event and it will support an excellent cause,” Crothers said. “This fundraiser will raise the funds needed to carry us through the winter, so is important that we have a successful event.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]