Tails on Trail raises funds for local animal shelter
Yips, yaps and wagging tails filled Heartland Park.
The Headwaters Animal Shelter's largest fundraiser of the year — Tails on the Trail — was held June 10.
The event raised money through pledges and donations. All proceeds go toward the shelter's mission of securing homes for animals and returning lost pets to their rightful owners.
In remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of all creatures, Pastor Glenn Anderson welcomed furry friends with a pet blessing.
Numerous former shelter residents were in attendance for the two-mile walk-a-thon and pet expo.
Bruce and Maureen Fischer brought both of their adoptees, Hailey and Indy. Hailey has participated in Tails on the Trail since its beginning nine years ago.
Hercules, an Australian Shepherd-Black Labrador, is another alumnus. Dave and Jackie Fastenow rescued him from an animal sanctuary in Hot Springs, Ark. The trio participates in Tails on the Trail every summer.
Buffy, a terrier-beagle, served as grand marshal, along with "his pack," Gert and Bob Buckley. The Buckleys adopted Buffy in 2006.
Each year, the Headwaters Animal Shelter cares for 400 to 500 animals. Since opening 14 years ago, more than 2,000 cats and 2,100 dogs have been re-housed. Another 700 dogs were returned to their proper owners.
The bulk of the shelter's budget — a whopping 55 percent — is based on donations. Another 27 percent comes from fundraisers. Adoption fees account for 14 percent of the budget. Surrenders, membership and grants each bring in 1 percent of the shelter's income.
"Go out there. Save a pet today," urged Dave DeLaHunt, master of ceremonies.
DeLaHunt said his family adopted a dog from the Headwaters Animal Shelter; Brandy died a year ago.
Following an American Kennel Association Canine Good Citizen demonstration, canines had a chance to vye for top dog. Competitions include an owner-pet look-alike contest and doggie musical chairs. Prizes were also awarded for the shortest, longest, fanciest and waggiest tail.