Hank the hound gives Joy Brown a kiss from the agility equipment that she and her husband Cliff Brown built at WAG in Sequim. Vice President Deb Bemm stands behind Franco the hound. Both young dogs need lots of exercise, Brown and Bemm said. They have a dedicated dog walker as well as other volunteers who play and exercise them. (Emily Matthiessen/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Hank the hound gives Joy Brown a kiss from the agility equipment that she and her husband Cliff Brown built at WAG in Sequim. Vice President Deb Bemm stands behind Franco the hound. Both young dogs need lots of exercise, Brown and Bemm said. They have a dedicated dog walker as well as other volunteers who play and exercise them. (Emily Matthiessen/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Dogtoberfest to raise funds for the Welfare for Animals Guild

Event virtual again in 2021

SEQUIM — Charlie the black lab mix was surrounded by his friends as he recuperates from his knee surgery at Welfare for Animals Guild’s Halfway Home Ranch in Sequim.

“Charlie and his brother Henry were surrendered by a lady who had a change in lifestyle,” explained Deb Bemm, vice president of the Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG) board, last month.

“They are big dogs, and the lady was getting older. She knew we would take care of them and find them a home.”

Bemm said Charlie has to have 12 weeks of care, pain control and rehabilitation — WAG works closely with veterinarians who offer their expertise — and “there are volunteers coming in to be with (Charlie) off and on all day,” she said.

Surgery was planned on his other knee after he recovered.

“He’s a real sweetie pie, too,” Bemm said.

Charlie is one of the dogs that WAG, a volunteer-run rescue and rehabilitation nonprofit funded by grants and donations, supports medically. Board member Joy Brown said the average medical costs WAG tallies each year can run between $40,000 and $70,000, and that the organization has already spent $60,000 on medical bills this year.

Dogtoberfest

WAG is gearing up for its annual Dogtoberfest fundraiser, which is set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23, with an emphasis on “rescue and rehab,” Bemm said.

The event will be virtual for a second year in a row due to COVID-19 safety restrictions.

Like last year’s event, WAG will host a silent auction, a “Raise the Paw” fundraising effort and, as in 2020, it will get a boost from Tedescos Italian Fresh.

Tedescos will prepare and chill meals for supporters to pick up on site for a $60 donation. The deadline for ordering is Oct. 13, and pickup at Tedescos, 210 W. Washington St., will be between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 23.

Dinner choices include chicken piccata with potatoes and vegetables, or vegetarian penne asiatico. Each meal will include misto salad, roll and butter, and a chocolate decadence square.

Asiatico is “a classic creamy Alfredo sauce combined with a Thai sauce of red curry, coconut milk and lemongrass,” noted Tedescos’ co-owner Tina Thomson. “It blends into a delicious sauce with just a touch of heat. It is very popular.”

One advantage to the virtual fundraiser is that as many people who want meals can order them as opposed to the in-person event, which was limited by the space, organizers said.

Baskets for the silent auction will be on display at Tedescos for bidding during pickup.

From now through the virtual Dogtoberfest event, people can “Raise the Paw” online at the same link they can order a meal — accessed through the front page of the WAG website, www.wagsequimwa.com.

This year’s reservation donation of $60 per person will go toward providing medical care, training and general care for the “residents” at the Halfway Home Ranch as well as their foster homes, WAG representatives said.

Community efforts

About 60 people are currently devoting their time to keeping WAG operational. Most are volunteers, with three part-time staff and one full-time worker living on site.

WAG workers strive to provide a home-like environment for dogs who have major challenges in their lives.

The number of dogs cared for every year can average between 120 and 130, board member Melanie Marshall said.

Among other activities, volunteers keep company with the dogs, rehabilitate the sick, injured or emotionally wounded, build play and living spaces and keep the grounds beautiful.

A highlight for staff at Tedescos Italian Fresh — which will celebrate its four-year anniversary in November — is the annual WAG fundraiser.

“We first got involved when we adopted a dog in 2017, (and) we recently began fostering another,” Thompson said.

“We admire and respect their staff and their army of volunteers.

“WAG is such an asset to the community,” Thompson continued. “I don’t know how they do what they do. It’s heartbreaking at times, but they quietly put their heads down and plow through, always keeping the best interest of the animals above all.

“COVID has severely impacted their in person fundraising events, so here we are pivoting to a ‘virtual banquet’ model. Hopefully, the community will follow the pivot to support their efforts. I have a feeling, knowing the Sequim community, they will.”

For more about Welfare for Animals Guild, see wagsequimwa.com.

________

Emily Matthiessen is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at emily.matthiessen@sequimgazette.com.

Hank the 16-month-old hound is the “sweetest loving little boy ever,” according to Melanie Marshall of WAG, Sequim’s rescue and rehabilitation non-profit. She said that Hank wasn’t abused — he was just living with people who didn’t have the capability to take care of him the way he needs. “Keeping him exercised is his main thing. He loves other dogs and he loves people.” (Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen)

Hank the 16-month-old hound is the “sweetest loving little boy ever,” according to Melanie Marshall of WAG, Sequim’s rescue and rehabilitation non-profit. She said that Hank wasn’t abused — he was just living with people who didn’t have the capability to take care of him the way he needs. “Keeping him exercised is his main thing. He loves other dogs and he loves people.” (Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen)

More in Entertainment

Kaelan Gilman
“NEAR is Here” to celebrate community resilience

Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience

Stardust Vocalist Tess Teel is featured on many songs performed by the Stardust Big Band.
Tickets on sale now for Stardust Big Band concert

Tickets are on sale now for the Stardust Big Band’s… Continue reading

Tom Melancon
Singer-songwriter slated for Candlelight Concert Online

An evening of original songs is in store Thursday… Continue reading

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Six-year-old Rocky Bright of Port Angeles picks his pumpkin at the start of a pumpkin carving workshop hosted by the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center on Saturday. The event was part of the center's Celebration of Shadows Fall Festival, which included carved pumpkin judging, a shadow puppet theater workshop and the "Chasing Shadows" gallery show.
Carving some great pumpkins

Rocky Bright, 6, of Port Angeles picks his pumpkin at the start… Continue reading

Kayleen McDonald of the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula delivers bagged lunches to a waiting car as unit director Tessa Jackson, left, looks on during a drive-thru Halloween in front of the organization’s Sequim facility last year. Besides lunch bags, trick-or-treaters were offered hats, treats and coloring books. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Halloween to be celebrated on Peninsula

Events planned in Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles, Joyce and Forks

Port Townsend Library to host astronomy lecture on Zoom

Frank Petrie will present “Introduction to Astronomy and Telescopes”… Continue reading

Discussion series on Supreme Court wraps Thursday

Nils Pederson and Joyce Francis will finish up their… Continue reading

Pleasant weather held as Fall Fest entertained big crowds at Extreme Sports Park on Saturday. The festival included an Extreme Timber Sports Show, a Zombie Run and a Lawnmower Derby where people cheered on their favorites. (Scott Gardinier/Peninsula Daily News)
Fall Fest

Pleasant weather held as Fall Fest entertained big crowds at Extreme Sports… Continue reading

Conductor Tigran Arakelyan rehearses Friday night with the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra before a small live audience at the American Legion Hall. Today the ensemble will give its first public performance since early 2020; the 2 p.m. concert is sold out, but the orchestra plans another one on Dec. 4. Information can be found at PTsymphony.org. Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
On with the show

Conductor Tigran Arakelyan rehearses Friday night with the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra… Continue reading

Most Read