Her big, brown eyes sink deep into your heart as she looks at you with a slightly tilted head. She raises her eyebrows as if she expects something. You reach down to pet her. Her tail starts wagging between her hind legs and she jumps up and kisses your face.
Bayles is a one-year-old herding dog up for adoption at the Humane Society of Moab Valley (HSMV). She was found in New Mexico and is now being cared for by a host family in Moab. Like Bayles, many dogs and cats are rescued by the HSMV every year.
The HSMV is hosting its annual Dawg Days of Summer fundraiser on Saturday, June 28 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Old City Park. The event will be catered by The Blu Pig and Sweet Cravings, and will feature live music from Eric Jones and Mill Creek Station. There will be a silent auction benefit from 5 to 7:15 p.m. featuring over 100 items to bid on, including romantic dinners, certificates to local restaurants and spas, original artwork and photography, adventure gear, pet gift baskets, and more.
“The BBQ is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” animal coordinator Tricia Gundlach said. “We hope everyone has a great time and enjoys the evening.”
Tickets bought in advance cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids. At the door, tickets cost $25 for adults and $12 for kids. Tickets are available for purchase at any of the City Market adoption days, Sgt. Pepper’s Music and Video, the Farmer’s Market, WabiSabi, Back of Beyond Bookstore, the Moab Animal Shelter, and the Moab BARKery.
All the proceeds from the BBQ will go into the HSMV’s General Operating Fund, which covers adoption, foster, medical, spay/neuter (S/P) and trap-neuter-and release (TNR) programs.
Gundlach has been working with the humane society for close to 10 years. As animal coordinator, she administers animal evaluations and training, oversees adoptions, and recruits volunteers and foster families. The HSMV does not have its own facility or a full-time staff (it has an office at the Moab City Animal Shelter). Despite these setbacks, it is able to adopt out about 120 animals each year. Since its start in December of 1999, the HSMV has rescued and adopted out more than 1,600 dogs and cats in Moab and its surrounding area.
“It is gratifying to see the effect of the humane society in Grand County over time,” Gundlach said. “The animals are spending less time in the shelter before being adopted.”
The HSMV currently has two dogs and two cats up for adoption. It spays/neuters all animals in its care and provides them with vaccinations and micro-chips. If the animal needs any further treatment, it is taken to a veterinarian.
“We have had to remove teeth, one dog had his tail docked because he could not stop wagging it and hitting the walls and doors, we have paid for hernias, eye issues, ear infections, gluten-free food, and whatever else the animals need,” Gundlach said.
The HSMV has played a big role in reducing euthanasia and animal over-population in the area. Before the HSMV started, over 45 percent of dogs and 85 percent of cats were euthanized every year as the solution to the homeless-pet population, HSMV administrator Leigh Ryan said. The humane society has been preventing euthanasia and over-population by maintaining its no-kill rescue organization and implementing its TNR program for feral cats. In the past 13 years, the HSMV has spayed/neutered more than 5,800 pets, Ryan said.
Part of the HSMV’s mission is to “improve the lives of companion animals and their owners.” In 2013, the humane society adopted out 107 companion animals.
“One of our main goals and programs is working with homeless companion animals and locating families and individuals for the benefit of all,” Ryan said. “Adopting cats and dogs into permanent loving homes saves them from being euthanized and the adoptive family benefits greatly from the love and companionship of their cat or dog.”
To adopt an animal or give a donation, call the Humane Society of Moab Valley at 435-259-4862, or visit its website moabpets.org. The HSMV conducts weekly Adoption Days at City Markey and the Moab BARKery. Its office is located inside the Moab City Animal Shelter at 956 Sand Flats Road.
“I have always loved cats and dogs and like many people grew up with several pets, they were always a part of our family,” Ryan said. “ Today I have the honor and privilege to work for the Humane Society of Moab Valley, saving the lives of homeless animals through rescue and adoption services, helping pet owners in need with free pet food and educating the community of the importance of spaying and neutering their pets to prevent over population. I find my work very rewarding.”
“It is gratifying to see the effect of the Humane Society in Grand County over time. The animals are spending less time in the shelter before being adopted.”
What: Humane Society of Moab Valley’s annual Dawg Days of Summer fundraiser
When: Saturday, June 28, 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: Old City Park
Cost: In advance $20 Adults, $10 Kids – At the door $25 Adults, $12 Kids
Proceeds from humane society BBQ will help homeless animals