Dixie is a 10-month-old treeing walker coonhound who “is all the very best of her breed … gentle, easy-going, goofy and athletic,” said Welfare For Animal Guild representatives.

Dixie is a 10-month-old treeing walker coonhound who “is all the very best of her breed … gentle, easy-going, goofy and athletic,” said Welfare For Animal Guild representatives.

DogtoberFest going online this year

WAG selling ‘non-tickets’ to help dogs in need

SEQUIM — A Sequim nonprofit is hoping fellow canine advocates are willing to raise those paws — this year, virtually — to help care for and house dogs in need.

Board members of Welfare for Animals Guild, which has placed more than 1,800 dogs into local homes since its inception in 2001, made the decision in the early spring to cancel DogtoberFest, its biggest annual fundraiser.

The popular community event would sell out each year and bring in about $35,000 each year, said Deb Bemm, a board director with Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG).

“We discussed it and just couldn’t imagine putting 200 plus people in one place,” she said.

Instead, the nonprofit is hosting a “Different Kind of DogtoberFest 2020.”

The virtual fundraiser asks WAG supporters to consider purchasing “non-tickets” at $50 each — the price of a regular ticket had WAG been able to hold the event — and/or a “non-table,” which normally seats eight, for $400.

“While this ticket may not include a seat at a lovely dinner, it will help provide dinner, medical attention, and much more for those dogs that come to WAG for love and care,” WAG representatives said in a newsletter.

Those who buy a “non-ticket” are eligible to win one of two “Supporting Clallam County” gift packages that include restaurant and shopping gift cards to local businesses affected by recent events.

“Our goal (for this year’s fundraiser) is just to whatever the community would like to do to support us,” Bemm said.

WAG officials are also hoping supporters will recreate the “Raise the Paw” section of the DogtoberFest event in which all are given the opportunity to raise their paddle in support of a specific aspect of WAG’s work. This year’s focus, Bemm said, is seniors dogs.

WAG has seen an uptick in the number of senior dogs surrendered to the organization, a trend not related to the COVID-19 issue, Bemm noted.

“They’re just as wonderful as the young ones,” she said of WAG’s senior dogs, “but there are expenses that go along with them.”

The drawing is set for Saturday, Oct. 24, DogtoberFest 2020’s originally scheduled date.

While the event is canceled for this year, WAG’s work of rescuing, rehabilitating and adopting continues, Bemm noted— with some changes. The organization is on a “skeleton crew” right now, she said, with WAG volunteers coordinating to work on same shifts and having limited contact.

A number of projects are on hold right now, Bemm said, such as a plan to build a room for a dog who’ll likely not be adopted.

Since mid-March, when social and physical distancing guidelines from COVID-19 and many local residents began working from home, WAG has seen a steady adoption rate, Bemm said, including the adoption of seven Husky puppies.

“At the beginning it was a lot of people who were going to home for a while,” she said. “Now it’s people who know they are going to be home for a while.”

Welfare for Animals Guild receives surrendered dogs in a number of ways, from unplanned life situations to over-populated shelters to strays. Prior to adoption, rescue animals are spayed/neutered, receive vaccines, are micro-chipped and have other medical needs addressed. The dogs either live in private homes or at the Half Way Home Ranch, located just south of Old Olympic Highway, until they are adopted.

WAG officials said the organization’s veterinary bills total about $40,000 each year.

For more information or to donate, visit wagsequim wa.com or call 360-460-6258.

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

More in News

Health warning lifted at East Beach on Marrowstone Island

Jefferson County Public Health has lifted the health warning from… Continue reading

Abby Counts, 8, with assistance from her father, Taylor Counts, an EMT with Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue, gives a newly acquired tender truck a ceremonial wash down during a push-in ceremony on Saturday at the district’s Station 22. The truck, tender 22, cost $459,439 and was paid for by the fire district’s 2020 levy lid lift. Saturday’s ceremony also included a blessing by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and a “push-in” of the truck into its berth. The tender replaces a 31-year-old truck that had reached the end of its useful life. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
New tender

Abby Counts, 8, with assistance from her father, Taylor Counts, an EMT… Continue reading

The 95 Port Townsend High School seniors walk through the rhody garden at Fort Worden State Park on their way to the graduation ceremony on Friday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Graduation walk

Port Townsend, Chimacum ceremonies

Lands commissioner wary of federal plan to kill thousands of owls

Washington’s public lands commissioner, Hilary Franz, is voicing skepticism about a federal… Continue reading

Operations scheduled at Bentinck range this week

The land-based demolition range at Bentinck Island will be… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Matt Larson of Sequim, who uses the radio call sign KC7EQO, tunes into a ham radio satellite during Saturday’s Radio Field Day at the Clallam County Fairgrounds in Port Angeles. The annual event, hosted by the Clallam County Amateur Radio Club, brought together amateur radio operators from around the world in a contest to make as many radio contacts as possible in a 24-hour period as a test of emergency preparedness from remote locations. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Testing the system

Matt Larson of Sequim, who uses the radio call sign KC7EQO, tunes… Continue reading

Best of the Peninsula.
Voting round open for Best of Peninsula contest

It’s time again to vote for the Best of the Peninsula. Now… Continue reading

Port of Port Townsend focusing on five capital improvement projects

Stormwater improvement in permitting phase; construction may begin this year

Clallam County Sheriff Brian King, right, carries a ceremonial torch with Special Olympian William Sirguy, center, accompanied by his mother, Katie Sirguy, during Friday’s Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run along the Waterfront Trail in Port Angeles. The event, designed to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics movement, brought together law enforcement officers from Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties for a march across the North Olympic Peninsula. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Torch run

Clallam County Sheriff Brian King, right, carries a ceremonial torch with Special… Continue reading

Groups back natural gas initiative

Signature-gathering efforts end July 5

Pictured left to right, Ginny Wagner, Xxzavyon (XJ) Square, Ewan Mordecai-Smith, Elise Sirguy, Mahayla Amendolare and Mallory Hartman cut the ribbon of the little free library at Jefferson Elementary School on Friday. (Darlene Cook)
Students come together to promote reading literacy

Free library constructed near Jefferson Elementary