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A barking good time for great cause

Busy Bone 500 to benefit Saratoga County Animal Shelter

The 6th Annual Busy Bone 500 will benefit the Saratoga County Animal Shelter in Ballston Spa.

The 6th Annual Busy Bone 500 will benefit the Saratoga County Animal Shelter in Ballston Spa. Photo by Julie Cushine-Rigg.

— ‘We have dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats … we’ve even had a duck, but we don’t take large animals,” said Butler.

The shelter welcomes around 3,000 animals every year and is always seeking volunteers. In addition to caring for the animals, the shelter also provides animal control services and rabies vaccination clinics for the county.

There are currently 94 cats at the shelter and 97 in foster care, due in large part because of several cases of cat hoarding in the area.

Aside from those cases, one of the most common reasons that an animal has to be given up for adoption is because the owner has to move. The average age of animals ranges from approximately nine months through more senior animals at 11 or 12 years old.

“Whether it’s two hours a month or two hours a day, we’re always looking for volunteers … to walk the dogs, help with off-site adoptions, cat care in the morning and socializing,” said Butler.

Tracey Dussault, volunteer dog coordinator for the shelter said funds from this year’s Busy Bone would possibly go toward buying agility equipment for dogs at the shelter. She said that the event “isn’t so much about the money,” but is more about just getting the dogs together.

There are around 100 volunteer dog walkers who operate on a rotating schedule of sorts, and they are at the shelter seven days a week. Many of the volunteers bring the dogs to area adoption clinics and to the shelter’s annex in Clifton Park Center.

By getting the dogs out, Dussault says she can “see how they’ll behave.” Knowing how the dogs get along with others in social situations, especially around children, is useful in letting potential families know a dog’s personality.

The biggest needs at the shelter are for dog and cat treats, washable toys (no squeakers) and raw hides. When a pet is adopted, the family is given a new toy at no cost.

All dogs participating in the walk will be given a bandana, and refreshments for canines and their owners will be available. Silent auction items include baskets donated by Lang’s friends and are filled with themed items like tools, martinis, dog care and gift certificates.

“Every dog deserves a home and that’s what I work for,” said Lang.

For more information on the Busy Bone 500, contact Carol at 884-9352.

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