Friday was "Take Your Dog to Work Day,” created by Pet Sitters International to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. Nationally, thousands of businesses opened their doors to employees’ pets. Gungoll Jackson Collins Box & Devoll P.C., an Enid law firm with an Oklahoma City branch, was one such business. Melodee A. Haworth, legal assistant at the firm, coordinated the day. She sees it as a way to raise money for the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and to bring awareness to the plight of shelter animals that may be euthanized because there are not enough homes for them. "You see, with the economic stress, a lot of people are having to give up their animals. So, there are a lot of them out there,” she said. "But the flip side of that is bringing one into your family is a cheap form of entertainment. I mean, you don’t have to go out to the movies; they’ll bring the joy right to you. So, it’s a win-win situation if you go in and you get one right now.” At the firm, Haworth coordinates a pet photo contest, and employees get highly competitive with their entries. She’s had the usual dogs and cats entered, as well as some unusual pets, such as a mule and squirrel. "It’s hysterical. We have so much fun,” she said. "But, we do raise money. We take up a collection. I guilt-trip people. Right now, it’s not hard to guilt-trip people because it’s so hot out. You know how miserable you are; imagine the animals.” Employees at the firm brought their pets to work for the last hour of the workday. Each animal was given a goody bag, and winners of the photo contest won prizes donated by local businesses.
How to helpThere are many ways your business, civic or social group can help raise money and awareness for animals in need. Here are a few ideas from Haworth: →Coordinate a charity dog walk to benefit your local animal shelter. Gather prizes from businesses and have each dog get sponsors to donate to the cause. →Coordinate a pet costume contest at Halloween. →Use your crafting talents to raise money. Haworth has a friend who makes dog-themed quilts and sells them online. →Volunteer at the local SPCA or shelter. →Donate money or supplies to the local SPCA or shelter. Usable items include old towels to keep animals’ cages warm in winter, toys, food and treats. →Sponsor an animal at a shelter with a donation.
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