Max the dog and Ozzy the cat are now available for adoption at the Moab City Animal Shelter. Proceeds from the Dawg Days of Summer fundraiser will benefit the Humane Society of Moab Valley and the shelter. [Courtesy photos]

Summer is around the corner and bringing on the heat. For the past 14 years, the Humane Society of Moab Valley has hosted its biggest annual fundraiser during some of the hottest days of the year, and it’s back.

The Dawg Days of Summer welcomes community members, visitors and families to get out of the sun and celebrate a day of music and festivities in Old City Park.

On Saturday, June 10, from 5 to 8 p.m., the shady park will be gently misted and filled with live acoustic Americana-style music from Stray Grass, a silent auction, food and activities for the whole family. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Humane Society of Moab Valley (HSMV) board member Sarah Finocchio said the nonprofit has been updating the fundraiser based on feedback over the years.

“We have been trying to bring different bands to Moab that everybody hasn’t heard before, to mix it up,” she said. “(Stray Grass) is from Colorado, they’re pretty well known there … We’re also incorporating more activities for kids, like face painting and beach balls and pies in the face and different little activities so the families can have a wonderful day in the park.”

Adult tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the event. Tickets for kids under 10 years of age are $10 in advance and $15 at the event. This year, admission is free for children 5 and under. Tickets are available at the HSMV office in the Moab City Animal Shelter, as well as the Moab BARKery, Back of Beyond Books, Canyonlands Copy Center, Moab Farmers Market and City Market’s Dog Adoption Days.

Tickets include a barbecue dinner provided by The Blu Pig; vegetarian entrees provided by Moonflower Community Cooperative are also available upon request. The silent auction includes restaurant packages, spa dates, landscape plant certificates, day trips, beautiful artwork, food, massage and fitness certificates, and more. The silent auction will be held from 5 to 7:15 p.m., while dinner will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and live music will be performed from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Humane Society of Moab Valley has been a no-kill organization since 2004. Its mission, as stated, is to “improve the lives of companion animals and their owners.”

HSMV is run solely on donations and grants, and proceeds from the Dawg Days of Summer make up a significant part of the nonprofit’s budget.

Board member Saxon Sharpe said that support comes in from the entire Moab community – both business owners and residents.

“Many local businesses donate wonderful items to our Dawg Days silent auction, making it our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Sharpe said. “We couldn’t provide the programs that we do without support from businesses and residents.”

Current programs include adoption Saturdays; spay/neuter clinics in Moab, Monticello and Blanding; year-round low-income vouchers; a pet food bank for low-income pet owners; and discounted fees for senior adopters and/or senior animals.

“We now spend over $20,000 each year on spay and neuter in Moab,” Sharpe said. “This has greatly reduced the number of litters of cats and dogs in the community and reduced the number of animals coming into the shelter.”

Finocchio said that the HSMV is now reaching out to serve San Juan County, where it was recently able to spay and neuter around 150 animals, although it still had to turn another 150 pets away.

Sharpe said that even though many people associate the Humane Society with sad situations, the atmosphere surrounding the HSMV is upbeat and fun.

“People who haven’t been to our shelter may think it is like those awful advertisements showing sad-eyed, skinny animals looking at you through bars, (but) the city shelter is not like that at all,” she said. “Janette Woodruff, the shelter manager, and Leigh Ryan, the executive director of the Humane Society, have everything to do with that … They work together to support the pets in our community.”

The HSMV would like to thank its primary sponsors, including The Blu Pig, Moonflower Community Cooperative, Zions Bank, Grand County Credit Union, Aarchway Inn, Eastern Utah Community Federal Credit Union and Zax Restaurant.

Humane Society fundraiser comes to Old City Park on June 10

“We couldn’t provide the programs that we do without support from businesses and residents.”

When: Saturday, June 10, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Old City Park, near the corner of Murphy Lane and Old City Park Road

Cost: $25 in advance for adults, or $30 at the event

Information: 435-259-4862; moabpets.org

For more information about the barbecue, adoptable animals, volunteering or making a donation, call 435-259-4862, visit the website moabpets.org, or go to the group’s Facebook page.