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Show Me the Money: Merlot and Malteses: A Magnificent Mix

Shelters’ “yappy hours” provide opportunities for mingling and money-raising

Shelters’ “yappy hours” provide opportunities for mingling and money-raising

In a town without a dog park, area pooches can go to the Doña Ana County Humane Society’s Yappy Hour to socialize with others in the great outdoors. CHERYL A. FALLSTEAD
Are you whining for a new fundraising idea? How about a little bruschetta with that whine? Perhaps some crackers and dog biscuits, too? A happy hour for dogs and their human companions may be just the event you need, bringing in extra cash while also boosting your organization’s reputation.

And partying in the company of canines makes a happy hour that much happier: Envision a winery or tasting-room patio filled with dogs and their owners visiting with friends old and new. While the humans sip and nibble on people treats, the dogs indulge their own senses through requisite sniff-downs. A nearby lawn is dotted with excited canines, entangling their owners in leashes as they maneuver to meet another new pal.

That was the scene at a recent “Yappy Hour” held by the Doña Ana County Humane Society in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The interspecies interactions, which take place monthly from April through October, help the shelter turn this event into more than a fundraiser: it’s also an effective “friendraiser” that allows for program promotions and introductions to board members and staff, says volunteer and marketing director Laura Bosh. An average of 70 locals and their leashed and vaccinated pets attend each event, happily handing over the suggested donation of $6 per person or more.

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