The Humane Society of Moab Valley (HSMV) has found a way to find relief during these dog-gone hot days. It will host its 11th annual Dawg Days of Summer Barbecue from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 29 at Old City Park
It’s the major fundraiser of the year for the non-profit that has been committed to improving the lives of animals in the Moab area for the last 13 years. The local Humane Society is run solely on donations and grants, with volunteers supplying the vast majority of work.
“This helps with all of our programs. We have the spay and neuter clinics and the adoption program. We do education,” said Leigh Ryan, director of the HSMV. “Our animal coordinator helps with training for people who might want to give up their animal. She can help them with behavior problems to help them want to keep their animal.”
Jeffrey’s Steakhouse will provide the food. Dinner includes backyard style barbecue with sliced beef, grilled chicken and a selection of salad, rolls and dessert.
Jeffrey’s also has sponsored the Paws for the Cause wine and hors d’oeuvres “Night Out” benefit for HSMV for the past three years.
“This year’s silent auction will be better than ever,” said Leigh Ryan, director of the HSMV.
She said there are restaurant packages and spa dates, as well as massage and fitness certificates. Artwork and land scape plant certificates are also available.
Adult tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the “door,” and kids under 10 years of age are $10 in advance and $12 at the “door.” Buy four adult tickets and get one free.
In addition to food and a silent auction, there is also local talent providing music.
Eric Jones will play acoustic Americana folk and bluegrass. Mickey Blue will provide classic rock, country and blues from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s classic rock. Lost Buffalo Band will play easy listening and classic rock.
The annual Dawg Days Barbecue began in 2002.
Paul and Zee McCarroll, the chefs at Center Cafe, had just opened at their restaurant on 100 West when funds were being raised to build the first animal shelter in Moab. The McCarrolls held a barbecue to honor Zee McCarroll’s recently deceased mother and to support something that was needed in Moab.
Zee McCarroll started barbecuing several days in advance; friends and staff shucked corn and helped with other preparations.
“The Center Cafe’s staff was awesome, donating their time and even their tips to the Humane Society,” Ryan said. “They all looked forward to it and had a great time. The lovely cafe, the generosity of the staff, donors to the auction, and attendees made this a highlight of the summer season for many local residents.”
When the Center Cafe closed, Buck’s Grill House became the next venue for the annual event. Tim Buckingham hosted the event on their outdoor patio.
In 2011, a new atmosphere was created at Old City Park, with the event being catered by the Moab Brewery.
The HSMV was established in 2000.
The organization’s mission is to improve the lives of companion animals and their owners. They accomplish this by saving the lives of orphaned animals through rescue and adoption services; providing training support and education for pet owners and the community; and providing spay and neuter opportunities for all cats and dogs.
Before the HSMV was established, 45 percent of dogs and 85 percent of cats that were picked up as strays were euthanized each year. The Moab City Animal Shelter has been a no-kill shelter for nearly 10 years. However, in the state of Utah, 28,000 animals were euthanized in 2012.
Tricia Gundlach, the HSMV animal coordinator, was one of the first employees at HSMV when she was hired in 2001. She worked with HSMV until 2007, then returned in 2011 as the animal coordinator.
She said the first couple of years were difficult, but they were able to get the homeless animal population better under control through the spay and neuter program.
“The base of everything is education,” Gundlach said. “On our end when people have a litter to place, we have them spay the mother so they won’t have another litter. We make sure all the offspring get spayed and neutered as well. Spaying and neutering is the No. 1 thing we need to look at. ”
Ryan said the spay and neuter programs are working.
“I think people are spaying and neutering their pets now,” Ryan said. “I don’t think there are as many unwanted animals.”
HSMV provides four spay and neuter clinics each year. It also provides spay and neuter vouchers for low-income households. In 2012, over 200 families took advantage of the clinics and voucher program to spay and neuter 249 cats and dogs. Since 2000, more than 5000 cats and dogs have been spayed or neutered in the Moab-area through HSMV programs.
Then there is foster care and adoption.
Since the HSMV was established in 2000, more than 1500 cats and dogs have been rescued and found homes. HSMV holds weekly adoption days at City Market and Moab Barkery to show animals available for adoption. In 2012 alone HSMV accepted and adopted out 74 companion animals.
“When we adopt out dogs we have a training video that we send out with them. We check on dogs and cats to see how things are going and if there are behavior issues,” Gundlach said.
If there are issues, Gundlach will work with the family to find a solution.
“When people run into behavior issues with their pets, we’re willing to help them with that,” Gundlach said. “We talk to people about their pets and things they can try.”
Gundlach strongly recommends regular exercise for dogs, even if they have a large backyard.
“It is so important to spend time with your animals. I’m always encouraging people to walk their dogs on leash,” Gundlach said. “That reinforces your leadership and the pack mentality that the person is the leader and the dog is coming with you.”
While the Humane Society has an office within the Moab City Animal Shelter on Sand Flats Road, it doesn’t have a facility of its own to house animals needing adoption. Instead, the HSMV works with foster families to provide temporary homes until permanent homes can be found.
“We are looking for someone with experience with animals,” Ryan said. “If they’re going to foster a dog, we prefer a fenced back yard. We want them take time to walk the animal and provide basic training.”
Applications to become a foster home are available at the HSMV office, or online.
What: Dawg Days of Summer Barbecue and Silent Auction
11th annual fundraiser for the Humane Society of Moab Valley
When: 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 29
Where: Old City Park, ?????
Cost: Adult tickets $20 in advance; $25 at the event.
Children under age 10 $10 in advance; $12 at the event
Tickets are available at the Humane Society’s office at the Moab Animal Shelter, Sgt. Pepper’s Music and Video, WabiSabi, and at the Moab Farmer’s Market. Buy four adult tickets and get one free.
This helps with all of our programs. We have the spay and neuter clinics and the adoption program. We do education.”