The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

May 7, 2014

Dogs, horses unite to raise nearly $5K

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 — The 2014 Stanly County Humane Society Wagfest fetched about $5,000 for animals in need of homes.

With more than 100 dog owners in attendance, everything from teacup terriers to German shepherds sniffed their way across the Cannon (YMCA) Park Saturday.

Many were adoptions and rescues themselves.

Sisters Hailey and Meredith Simpson sat with their dog Mugsley.

“We got him at the Wagfest three years ago,” Hailey said.

“He’s the best.”

Mike and Carolyn Price were out strolling with three rescue dogs.

“We love them,” Carolyn said.

“Any time we can support something like this, it’s great.”

As of Saturday, SCHS has seen 162 adoptions and 166 rescues this year. The organization estimates it will see more than 500 rescues and adoptions by the end of the year.

This lowers euthanization rates at Stanly County Animal Control by approximately 40-45 percent every year.

Beth Plowman, Wagfest organizer, said there are a lot of expenses that come with that, from gas for transportation to the 250 pounds of dog food they dole out every day.

Donations, particularly time donated by volunteers, are the lifeblood of the organization, she said.

“The monies raised during Wagfest will go a long way in helping our community care for the ever-increasing number of animals until we find them their forever homes,” Plowman said.

And the dogs weren’t the only ones celebrating forever homes at the YMCA Park on Saturday.

Dog lover Candy Hooker of Triple M Farm in Richfield brought out not only her dogs to Wagfest, but her horses as well.

“Several of our horses are actually rescues,” Hooker said.

Daughter Marissa Hooker went on to explain that one was once used for transporting drugs.

“It was just skin and bones when we got it,” Marissa said.

The horses she and Riley Parker rode walked calmly past dogs trying to get a sniff at them.

“We keep so many dogs around all the time, it’s nothing new,” Hooker said.

Across the lawn, other dogs got a taste of agility training with Jane Hammett Bright of Shadow Hill Shelties, who conducts classes and summer camps for interested dog owners.

Others waded around in kiddie pools, took the traditional downtown walk through Albemarle, or ran after each other on the grass.

“It’s great socialization for everybody,” third-year attendee Ray Smith said.

Living out on a farm, his three dogs don’t often get to come into town and see other dogs.

“So they’re having a blast,” Smith said.

“We’ll definitely be out again.”

To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at


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