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Moving for the Humane Society

Article Published: Sep. 15, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 15, 2011
Moving for the Humane Society

Gwen Dhing, fresh off her performance as Christina Aguilera from Blowing Rock’s Groovy Nights, will dance on behalf of the Watauga Humane Society for the upcoming ‘Dancing with the High Country Stars.’

Photo submitted

Earlier this month, all of the animals at the Watauga Humane Society were on the move as they were transported to the agency’s new $3.2 million facility.

The animals from the Watauga County Animal Shelter were also moved to the new facility, and the county’s shelter will close.

Now it’s time for humans to do a little moving of their own.

Dancers Gwen Dhing, Shellie Karaus, Jim Street and Cay Harkins will be dancing for the Humane Society at this month’s Dancing with the High Country Stars event at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock.

The event takes place on Thursday, Sept. 29. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $50 per person.

All four dancers are well known in the High Country for their moves. Harkins is the founder of Studio K Ballet in Boone and she, Karaus and Street have long been involved with dance instruction and the annual production of “The Nutcracker” at Farthing Auditorium.

Dhing is co-owner of Makoto’s Japanese restaurant and a popular Zumba instructor at the Watauga Wellness Center.

“We would love to have people go onto the Dancing with the High Country Stars website and vote for their favorite dancers,” said Margie Sparks of the Watauga Humane Society’s capital campaign committee.

According to Sparks, the WHS has raised $2.4 million of the $3.2 million the new facility cost to build.

“Currently, there is a capital campaign to raise the additional monies for the shelter with an additional $1 million to be used as an endowment to help with operating costs,” Sparks said.

“Operating costs are approximately $500,000 annually. We are so grateful to the many people who have already donated generously. With this fundraiser, we hope to get even more donations from others, as well as have a lot of fun and see some gifted performers.”

According to Sparks, the new Watauga Humane Society facility will have a grand opening event in early October.

“The public is welcome to come out and see the facility and to adopt a loving companion,” she said.
In addition to the Dancing with the High Country Stars event, the Humane Society has several other fundraisers this month.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the WHS will host its annual Fur Ball dinner and dance at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, it will host a “Dog Jog” on the Greenway Trail on State Farm Road in Boone. Registration for the jog begins at 10 a.m., and the jog will start at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact the Watauga Humane Society at (828) 264-7865 or visit

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