PRATT — Friends and supporters of the Pratt Area Humane Society (PAHS) came together last weekend for a little fun and to focus on raising funds for improvements at the Pratt facility.
The PAHS-A-Palooza, held at the Pratt County Fairground, featured fun and games for humans and dogs alike, and many friendly canines were on hand for the occasion.
Out in the show arena, Training To Lead, a Stafford County-based dog-training school, offered an agility course for dogs. Volunteers put Arrow (a Corgi mix), Daisy (a long-haired yellow lab) and Duke (a border collie mix) through their paces.
“I just really enjoy working with the dogs and taking them out to play,” said Pake Sipes, a training course graduate and college student who volunteers at the local shelter regularly.
The dog he worked with on Saturday, Arrow, is up for adoption, looking for a loving family to spend time with.
Daisy, also a shelter dog, monitored the sidelines of the agility course, in training to work as a school therapy dog, said her supervisor Mike Cargill.
Going up and down the agility ramp with pride was Duke, a black border collie mix rescue who obviously enjoyed his showing off his abilities under the direction of trainer Casey Cargill.
"We're all here to bring attention to the dogs and help raise funds for Pratt Area Humane Society," Cargill said.
Inside the 4-H center kids and adults could play carnival-style games and earn tickets to exchange for prizes at the prize table. Tickets for an animal quilt (created and donated by Jessica Gatz) could be purchased as well as dog treats, human food and special pet photos. Several dogs and their owners took part in a costume contest and veterinarians were on hand to answer questions and share animal knowledge.
“We are just trying to get out in the public more and let people know what a great facility we have and what a service we offer to the community,” said PAHS Director April Hemphill. “And we have some large projects we want to get fundraising started for so we can better care for these Pratt County animals.”
Pam Howell, president of the PAHS board of the directors, said that up to $75,000 was being projected as needed for a project to upgrade the current PAHS facility.
“The loose plan is that we want to enclose an additional area that now has just a roof over it so that we can have climate-controlled pens for better disease prevention,” Howell said.
Hemphill said airflow and ventilation were problems they hoped to better deal with as funds are raised.
She also said she hoped PAHS-A-Palooza would become an annual event, the organization’s main fundraiser.
“We have a lot of great volunteers who got together for this,” she said. “We can always use more volunteers to come out and work with the animals in the shelter and help provide for their needs.”
The Pratt Area Humane Society has a Facebook page where needs and animals available for adoption are listed, with updates regularly.