Hawk Creek Animal Shelter to auction designer dog houses -- or 'barkitecture' -- at benefit Feb. 27
WILLMAR -- Heads up, Snoopy. Your no-frills doghouse has met its match. Three designer doghouses -- a log cabin, a Flintstones-inspired house and a doggy version of the iconic Airstream trailer -- are among the goodies being auctioned off this mo...
WILLMAR - Heads up, Snoopy. Your no-frills doghouse has met its match.
Three designer doghouses - a log cabin, a Flintstones-inspired house and a doggy version of the iconic Airstream trailer - are among the goodies being auctioned off this month at the ninth annual Save Our Tails benefit of the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties.
Organizers hope to raise $22,000 at the event, to be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Willmar Conference Center. Proceeds will help support operating costs at the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter.
This year the Humane Society sought entries from the public for its first-ever “Barkitecture” doghouse design contest. The board of directors chose three designs to be built and auctioned off at the fundraiser.
Save Our Tails is the main fundraising event for the Humane Society each year.
The organization’s annual budget of $350,000 is supported entirely with local funding: adoption and surrender fees, membership fees, a yearly allocation from Kandiyohi and Meeker counties, impound contracts with the city of Willmar and a handful of area municipalities, and donations from the public.
“We say it costs us $1,000 a day to operate the shelter,” said Bobbie Bauman, director of operations.
In 2014 the shelter took in a record 1,695 animals, primarily cats and dogs. The staff provides housing, food, exercise and veterinary care while animals are waiting to be adopted into homes.
Few organizations do what the Humane Society does, Bauman said. “If we didn’t have a Humane Society, where would the animals go? Who would people call?”
Martha Alsleben, chair of the Save Our Tails committee, recently received a phone call from a neighbor who spotted a lost dog in her neighborhood. The Humane Society rescued the dog, brought it to the shelter and, in a happy ending, the neighbor is adopting it, she said.
Although the well-being of animals is the main mission, “we don’t just take care of animals. We help people too,” Alsleben said. “There’s a strong people-animal connection. All you have to do is come down here and see people with the animals and know those animals are making a difference for that person.”
The social component of the shelter’s services includes low-cost vaccination clinics, low-cost pet ID tags and microchips, public education and numerous volunteer opportunities. The shelter also hosts mobile clinics that visit regularly to provide low-cost spay and neuter surgery to income-eligible pet owners.
Nearly a decade after the first Save Our Tails was held, it has become a yearly must-attend event for many people, Alsleben said. Last year it surpassed its goal of raising $20,000.
Organizers will bring back the popular auction of themed gift baskets and other items, which this year includes a hand-built dollhouse-sized barn complete with stalls, a hayloft and a miniature herd of dairy cows.
New this year will be several participating vendors showing off their products and services. Ten percent of their profits for the evening will be donated to the Humane Society.
There also will be a special “Fund a Need” auction to raise money for a new van. “We transport animals and humans and we want to do that safely,” Bauman said.
If you go:
What: Save Our Tails benefit for the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties
Where: Willmar Conference Center, 240 23rd St. S.W., Willmar
When: 6 p.m. Feb. 27
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door, $7 for ages 12 and under. Purchase tickets in advance at the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter, 250 28th St. S.W., Willmar.
Info: 320-235-7612 or www.thehskc.com