By LEE CHAMBERS
The puppies were turned loose in an enclosed room filled with toys, blankets, and a vigilant crew who stood ready to tackle the inevitable clean-ups with the speed of a pit crew at Indy. The dogs are part of a litter of 10 born in November to Audrey, a Catahoula mix dog who arrived at Dakin last fall. Her pregnancy was discovered shortly after her arrival, and Audrey went into foster care to await her litter, and for the weeks following so she could tend to her brood.
The Pop Up events involved scheduling groups of 10 people at a time in 20-minute play sessions with a group of Catahoula-mix puppies. Six sessions were scheduled for each event, and participants of all ages snapped up every ticket within 48 hours of the events being announced.
"The Puppy Pop Up events were a win/win because they gave people an opportunity to enjoy these adorable puppies who are almost ready to go into their adoptive homes, and it raised funds for animals in need," according to Stacey Price, Dakin's director of marketing and development. "Baby animals, especially puppies and kittens, benefit greatly from interaction with lots of different people in those critical first eight weeks of life. This socialization helps them develop into friendly, confident adult animals."
The benefit was clearly mutual, as people were thrilled by the antics of the puppies. Friends came in pairs and trios, and some families arrived in groups of four or five at a time. Toddlers squealed with delight watching the squirming, bouncing puppies climb over them and their parents to offer affectionate, if sloppy, greetings, or engage them in play. For some children, it was their first exposure to a puppy, and the joy these families shared was contagious.
"That experience was helpful to some parents who attended and watched the interaction between their youngsters and the puppies," said Price. "If they are considering adding a puppy or kitten to their family in the months ahead, they were able to get an idea about how their child will react if that happens. Being around baby animals just naturally makes people happy, and this was a unique and fun way to spend a mid-winter afternoon. We appreciate everyone who supported these events, and we'll plan more in the months ahead, some featuring kittens. The dates will be posted on our Facebook events page."
Most of the puppies already had adoption holds on them by the time the first event took place, and the remaining few didn't have to wait long before they were claimed. They will settle into their new homes in the next couple of weeks.
Just over $2,000 was raised from the two events, and proceeds are being directed to the Buddy Fund, which Dakin established to help animals with extraordinary medical needs. Gifts may be made to the fund by visiting https://www.dakinhumane.org/buddy-fund.html.
Lee Chambers is marketing and communications manager of the Dakin Humane Society. Dakin delivers effective, innovative services to animals in need and the people who care about them.
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