Monday, January 24th, 2022

Cough it up for the Fur Ball

Group to sponsor fundraising event

By Leslie Gartrell
ST. MARYS - The non-profit Anything is Pawsable group will host a red-carpet worthy fundraising gala at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at Romer's Catering, Celina.
The non-profit program trains dogs, starting as puppies, to be assistance dogs. The dogs are then donated to recipients in surrounding communities, free of charge.
Organizer and K9to5 Doggy Daycare owner Sandy Gerdeman said the non-profit has trained 12 dogs so far, 11 of which have been placed, she said.
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Jessica Storer rewards 6-month-old Golden Retriever pup Gracie during a training session Dec. 19 at K9to5 Doggy Daycare, St. Marys.

The dogs have assisted families with foster children and helped people with disabilities, PTSD, anxiety and physical limitations. Some also have been trained to be therapy or emotional-support animals for hospitals, schools and nursing homes, Gerdeman said.
One of the current program puppies, 5-month-old Aussiedoodle Sam, is undergoing specialized training to help a woman who sustained serious injuries after a car accident, Gerdeman said.
Another trainee, Boston, is assisting students at the Mercer County Educational Service Center's Community Learning Center and ROSE Academy. Gerdeman said for example, Boston is being trained to respond to people crying so he can comfort them.
People who are considering a service animal usually are faced with several barriers. Getting a service dog can be difficult, and the base cost can be astronomical. Depending on the training the dog receives, a service animal can easily cost $50,000, Gerdeman said.
In addition, it can take two years to train a dog to be a service animal, depending on the person's needs, and many people can't wait that long.
But pups in the Anything is Pawsable program train anywhere from four to six months, although pooches learning to be service animals for people with physical limitations or disabilities may train longer.
The dogs attend puppy kindergarten, basic obedience and pre-Canine Good Citizen classes. Canine Good Citizen certification, or CGC, is a prerequisite for many therapy dog certifications.
The pups also spend time at employees' houses to be house trained and learn good house behavior, Gerdeman said. Once they complete their classes, the dogs are trained to tend to the needs of their new owner.
Anything is Pawsable trainees can aid in daily tasks, relieve stress and anxiety, comfort their owner, assist individuals with disabilities and improve the handler's quality of life, Gerdeman said.
However, all that training comes at a cost, Gerdeman said. That's in addition to all the food, medical bills and other responsibilities that come with caring for animals, she said.
Three pups are currently in training, Gerdeman said, including Sam; Oreo, a 6-month-old Aussiedoodle; and Gracie, a 6-month-old golden retriever.
Gerdeman said she would love to take on more pups to train, but can't until the non-profit manages to raise more funds. That's where the Fur Ball gala comes in, Gerdeman said.
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Gracie reaches for a treat from trainer Jessica Storer during a training session at K9to5 Doggy Daycare, St. Marys.

The formal, red-carpet event will feature a cocktail reception, a live and silent auction, a five-course meal from Romer's Catering, dancing and music provided by the Bluewater Kings Band, Columbus. The event will also have a trick dog show and a cash bar, Gerdeman said.
Anything is Pawsable is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and all donations are tax deductible, Gerdeman said, including the cost of the ticket. Gerdeman said the group is also seeking sponsors for the event.

If you go:
Who: K9to5 Doggy Daycare
What: Fur Ball fundraising gala
When: Feb. 12, 6 p.m.
Where: Romer's Catering, Celina
Ticket info: $50 per ticket. To buy a ticket or get donation information, contact K9to5 Doggy Daycare via Facebook Messenger, or call 419-300-5925.
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