Residents, pets invited to fundraiser

WELLSBURG – Area residents and their pets and anyone who would like to help the Brooke County Animal Shelter are invited to a morning of pet-friendly activities Saturday at Brooke High School.

Members of the school’s Paws and Claws and French clubs, as well as local Leo Clubs, will team to present a series of light-hearted contests for dogs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Joyce McGeehan, adviser to the Paws and Claws and French clubs, said proceeds from the second Spring Festival will go to the animal shelter. Last year’s event raised $1,006 for the facility.

McGeehan said there will be nine events, with four-legged competitors vying for biggest or smallest dog, longest ears, cutest face, cutest costume, most friendly, best groomed, best trick and most unique.

The dogs must be at least 1 year old and have been vaccinated to compete and should be on leashes at all times. The cost is $3 to enter one or two of the competitions.

There also will be dog races and an agility course testing the dogs’ ability to jump, weave and perform other maneuvers.

Tents will be set up for the pets and their owners, but the owners are asked to bring their own folding chairs for the outdoor event.

Before the competitions begin, Joseph Cuomo, pastor of Christian Assembly of Follansbee, will be on hand to bless the animals.

Student photographer Emma Wells also will be there to take photos of the dogs for $5, with Action Images developing the 5-by-7-inch photo for each. Student artist Alyssa Neville also will offer a craft table where attendees can make their own pet rock for $1.

Cold Stone Creamery will provide vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and other food will be sold.

Attendees also will be able to meet dogs and cats available for adoption from the animal shelter. Everyone also is encouraged to bring donations of dog and cat food, pet toys, towels and dish and laundry soap for the shelter.

McGeehan said donors are asked to avoid pet food with red dye, some of which has been linked to cancer.

McGeehan said with the help of Marty Bartz, Brooke County assistant superintendent, Paws and Claws has established coin containers at each Brooke County school. The school that raises the most money for the shelter will receive a plaque provided by Bartz and will be invited to present the check to the Brooke County Commission.

“This year the Spring Festival is being dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Cheryl Flaherty, an elementary teacher in Brooke County for 35 years. Mrs. Flaherty loved children and animals. She died on Nov. 3 of last year from a terminal illness and will forever be missed by her former students, colleagues, friends, family and pets,” McGeehan said.