Doggone good night raises money for shelter - The Redstone Rocket: News

Published in the interest of personnel at Redstone Arsenal, AL

Doggone good night raises money for shelter

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:09 am

Annual Dog Ball has disco theme

It all goes to the dogs – but Tammie Berzett and Terry Bradford have no problem with that.

The Greater Huntsville Humane Society will hold its largest fund-raiser of the year, the Dog Ball, Feb. 8 at the Von Braun Center South Hall 2. This year’s ball, “Disco Down with the Hounds,” chaired by Berzett and Bradford, begins at 5:45 p.m. with a yappy hour – a chance to interact with the dogs that will appear in the evening’s runway presentation – and silent auction bidding. Dinner will begin at 7:15, followed by the opportunity to watch the disco dogs and their owners strut their stuff down the runway. For more information about the family friendly event, visit www.thedogball.org.

“It’s always a great time,” said Bradford, program integration director for the Joint Attack Munition Systems Project Office. “It’s a great opportunity to meet people within the community and their dogs. It’s just a fun night. It’s something that the whole family can do, it’s kid-friendly and it’s for a good cause, which makes it worth your time and effort to come out.”

Proceeds from the event go to the Greater Huntsville Humane Society to pay for things like food for the animals, vet care, the cost of physically running the facility, as well as the salaries of the small staff that devote their lives to the dogs, cats and other animals that call the no kill shelter home while they wait for their forever family. The shelter receives no state or federal funding for the services it provides to the animals and community.

“It’s all about the animals,” Bradford said. “Everybody is putting their best foot forward for the animals, and at the end of the day that’s the most important thing you take away from the evening, is that you’re doing something to benefit the animals. You’re learning about the situations that some of the rescues have come out of and what they have become today.”

Five dogs living at the shelter will be featured throughout the evening, providing them with a chance to share their stories and hopefully give one of the attendees the chance to fall in love with them, Berzett said.

“It brings a great sense of compassion seeing the shelter dogs that are shown and seeing the loving homes that the other dogs have,” said Berzett, a senior program analyst with Intuitive Research and Technology. “We always have a line out the shelter the next day to adopt the shelter dogs that are shown.”

One of those inspiring stories from the shelter is that of Danielle McDonnell, a reliability engineer on the Arsenal with Intuitive Research and Technology, and her collie/Great Pyrenees mix Charlie. Since she adopted Charlie three years ago Sunday from the shelter, the friendly puppy who never made a noise has transformed into a 115-pound protector of the house, barking at every little noise, who loves to play football and chew bones.

“Getting Charlie from the humane society really made us feel like we were helping an animal in need, as opposed to just buying a dog,” said McDonnell, who saw Charlie’s picture on Petfinder.com before going into the shelter. “With so many dogs out there that need a home, why should we spend that money to get a dog that is purebred? I’m a big believer that there’s such a large amount of animals out there that need a home. You can save money and get a dog that’s just as good, if not better, at the humane society.”

It’s stories like McDonnell’s that are shared at the Dog Ball, to encourage other families to consider adopting from the shelter.

“You actually see rescue dogs and how they’ve turned out, from what they’ve been through to what they’ve become,” Bradford said. “It’s very encouraging and puts encouragement into someone who might be hesitant about going to a shelter.”

For Bradford and Berzett, it’s seeing those happy endings, and all the work that the humane society does for their animals that drives their dedication to the shelter.

“Once you get involved with helping the animals, and you can truly see the value for doing what you can do to support the shelter, and seeing these animals go to loving homes, I think it just drives you,” said Bradford, who serves on the humane society’s board of directors with Berzett. “It gives you a purpose to stay involved.”

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