Beer and dogs are some of the more convincing proof of a beneficent deity or deities smiling down on humans, their greatest mistake, so when PAWS of Grays Harbor brings both together on Saturday, it behooves the residents to pay attention.
The shelter, coming up on its half-century anniversary, is holding a fundraiser at Red Cedar Bar to help replace its ailing air conditioning system to ensure the safety and comfort of its animal residents.
“This is the first one we’re able to get onboard for an auction since the pandemic,” said Molle Bouch, president of the shelter’s board. “We have redone the entire two buildings. With the remodel, the system, which they kinda just upgraded, just wasn’t enough.”
The event, which begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, welcomes both dogs and their humans. Humans must be 21 or older to enter, and there’s no admission for the event, Bouch said, which is scheduled to run to 9 p.m. The space will host a costume contest for dogs, a silent auction, games, a photo booth for pets, an auction of goods donated to the shelter for the event, food trucks, and, of course, beer, said Anne Boeche, the shelter’s executive director.
“We’ve done some variations on this in the past, but this is a new event,” Boeche said. “We do have a very active board of directors. They are very involved. They are eager to make this happen.”
The event, which will take place both inside and outside the bar, should have plenty of space for guests, both two- and four-legged, though there will be a lot of excitement, people and pets, Boeche said, so it might be a bit much for skittish pets.
“We’re expecting to be able to host quite a few people,” Boeche said. “The goal is to provide a fun experience.”
Fundraising to replace the ailing HVAC system is the primary goal of this fundraiser, Bouch said, which was planned and executed in about three months, a scorching pace.
“We did this in the last three months. It’s been this quick,” Bouch said. “The nickel and diming of parts is just absolutely ridiculous. We just kept the old system. It should have been upgraded but we didn’t have the money.”
The shelter has worked out of its location on 1st Street for near-on half a century, Bouch said, with its only substantial refit recently.
“It’s never been remodeled until about six years ago,” Bouch said. “This is a huge upgrade from what we have come from.”
The HVAC system is critical to ensuring the livability and comfort of the shelter for its furred occupants, Bouch said.
“We have to have it,” Bouch said. “Dogs need to be confident, comfortable, less stressed — you need to have a good heating and air system. Just like if you’re housing yourself.”
Any extra funds beyond paying for the HVAC replacement will go toward improvements for the dog kennels and other operating costs for the shelter, which keeps quite busy, Boeche said.
“We rehome about 500 pets a year,” Boeche said. “We give out about 3,000 pounds of pet food each year.”
As the shelter looks toward the future, Boeche said, they’re evaluating the possibility of a purpose-built shelter to better serve the community with expanded services for clients, including the possibility of pet boarding and day care, and better facilities for animals, such as a space to serve as a dedicated dog run.
“We’re looking to expand our capabilities,” Boeche said. “If it’s a hot day, we can’t walk our dogs for too long because of the pavement.”
The shelter is also looking for volunteers. Those interested should look on the shelter’s website at Pawsgh.org.