October 15, 2021
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Critters melt hearts during an event

  • Hundreds of people turned out for the Bark After Dark fundraiser Saturday night. Photo by Robert Grant

  • Roving raffle ticket seller and longtime volunteer Robin Foutz. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Irene Hilsendager
February 28, 2020

The Rohnert Park Community Center was amazingly decorated with star lights, tables were set up with white tablecloths and a harpist entertained the crowded room. The spectators were busy gazing at the many tables loaded with glittering baskets filled with goodies and the huge array of framed art hanging on the wall. The Animal Shelter League (ASL) specular event’s purpose was to raise money for the shelter to a sold-out crowd. The delicious Italian buffet was catered by Sally Tomatoes including endearing cupcakes decorated with various animal motifs. The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club satisfied the 300 attendees’ thirst.

This was the fourth Bark after Dark during a span of six years, but due to the Tubbs and Kincade inferno, the affair had to be cancelled several times but the ASL rallied and rescheduled the events even with all of the million details that had to be done. However, the organization feels that this was a bigger and better function.

To melt the animal-loving crowd, some furry babies were at the event looking for new homes. On hand was Chapo, a handsome shepherd mix. He also represented the medical fund that is the largest program of the ASL where they support the sick and injured animals that come into the shelter and provides the medical care the animals need in order to be adopted. Other animal visitors for the evening were a social hamster, a vocal senior cat named Sally and a pair of bunnies that were lucky to get invited to a new home.

The most red-hot item of the evening was a live auction of a firehouse tour for four including dinner and a ride on the fire engine. Other sought-after auction items were an afternoon on the bay in a forty-three-foot yacht, a scenic fly-over Sonoma County in a four-seater plane, 

a beautiful cat enclosure made by C & D Pet Products and an original pen and ink drawing by Jud Snyder, donated by Olga Senyk. As of Monday evening, the accounting was not yet finished but it seems it is in excess of $25,000; the proceeds going to fund all of the super community programs run by the ASL to help with the animals in the community.

The shelter is celebrating the great milestone of 25 years. It was built on city land in 1995 at 301 J Rogers Lane, on the west side of Rohnert Park. During that time, not too many buildings were surrounding it. The RP Animal Shelter is a municipal facility serving the cities of Rohnert Park and Cotati. This is an open-door shelter providing refuge for desultory domestic animals. Each year more than 2,000 aimless animals come through the shelter’s door. The small staff that so graciously volunteers should be given the Jefferson Award founded by Jackie Kennedy, for a special day for volunteers.

Donations are always accepted and even your car can be donated.

The shelter haven now has an identification tag machine so for $5 or $10 you may get a personalized tag or if you are from Rohnert Park or Cotati, you will get the tag for free. 

Protect your “babies” and support the shelter. If you would like to have your pet micro-chipped, stop by the shelter during their open hours on Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat. and Sun.. Thurs. is 1-6:30 p.m. and other than Sun. from 1-4:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat. they are open from 1 to 5:30 p.m. 

A micro-chip is a tiny computer chip which has an ID programmed into it and is recapitulated within a biocompatible material. It is simply injected under the skin of the pet by a hypodermic needle. This is a very permanent way of identifying your pets. Animals of any age can be injected with the microchip. Puppies and kittens are identified during their initial vaccination episode.

Cheryl Currier, president of the ASL, gave her thanks to the committee that worked so hard to put the event together, to all of the 20 volunteers that were working the occurrence and each and every one that showed their support of ASL and the animals they help. And a bigger thank you and gratefulness goes to FAIRE-Friends of the Animals in the Redwood Empire for leading the bandwagon to push through the construction of a new shelter.

The next aspiration for the organization is to purchase an Education Center; a classroom that would enable expansion to the popular “Kidz ’n Critters” camp programs and be able to hold dog training classes, an adult education program, community meetings and so much more. Kudos to Mike Campbell of Paradise Pet Resort who so generously donated $5,000 to kick off the fundraising on the particular project. If anyone feels generous and would like to donate to make this plan a reality, donate through the ASL’s website,  Let us make all of those dreams a subsistence.