Every Dog Has Its Day

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Dec. 19, 2013 | Modified: Dec. 19, 2013
Every Dog Has Its Day

This furry fellow, rescue from an area animal shelter, awaits transport to a ‘no kill’ shelter in New York, thanks to the efforts of PARTNERS! Canines.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

Melissa Bahleda believes that every dog should have its day.

To Bahelda, owner of PARTNERS! Canines rescue operation in Boone, a safe home for her tail-wagging friends is all the reason she needs to continue her mission of saving shelter dogs from certain death.

PARTNERS! serves as an intermediary by reaching out to government-run animals shelters throughout the state and placing them in friendlier “no kill” shelters, where they can safely wait for a happy and caring home.

In the past, the shelter has reached out to state-run animal control facilities as far as Raleigh and the Carolina coast.

To a group that has saved an estimated 2,000 dogs in the past calendar year alone, incurring costs can quickly rise, considering each dog requires a $35 investment, including shots and other treatment.

As a nonprofit organization, PARTNERS! must also rely on the generosity of countless donors and volunteers.

To help spur rejuvenated interest in the animal outreach, PARTNERS!, along with a student group at Appalachian State University, has joined forces with animal enthusiasts at Bistro Roca and Antlers Bar in Blowing Rock in raising funds.

Students printed out pictures of the countless animals the shelter has saved during the past year and paired the portraits with handmade ornaments, which can be purchased for $10 a piece, and hung them at Antlers with the restaurant’s blessing, Bahleda said.

“We came up with the idea and then approached Bistro Roca,” Bahleda said. “This is good and easy, cheap way to help these animals.”

PARTNERS! is also conducting two similar ornament fundraisers at Pet Supplies Plus, located at 2575 N.C. 105, Suite 100, in Boone, and at the Animal Hospital of Boone, which is located at 2773 N.C. 105.

These two fundraisers are simpler in format, compared to the Bistro Roca operation, and cost only $1 to sponsor an animal.

Considering the tremendous amount of work and time PARTNERS! spends on the road to save canines from certain euthanasia, Bahleda said the organization’s tireless efforts are worthwhile when she sees the dogs leave the shelter and find a stable life.

“(It’s) just the great volunteers I get to work with and all of the awesome dogs we got to spend time with and knowing we are saving lives,” Bahleda said. “We know they are going to good homes and a good family. That’s why we put so much effort in that end.”

For more information, visit http://www.partnerscanines.org.

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