Hank the hound gives Joy Brown a kiss from the agility equipment that she and her husband Cliff Brown built at WAG in Sequim. Deb Bemm, Vice President stands behind Franco the hound. Both these young dogs need lots of exercise, said Brown and Bemm. They have a dedicated dog walker as well as other volunteers who play and exercise them. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Hank the hound gives Joy Brown a kiss from the agility equipment that she and her husband Cliff Brown built at WAG in Sequim. Deb Bemm, Vice President stands behind Franco the hound. Both these young dogs need lots of exercise, said Brown and Bemm. They have a dedicated dog walker as well as other volunteers who play and exercise them. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Time to ‘raise a Paw’ for WAG dogs

  • Wednesday, September 29, 2021 12:16pm
  • News

Charlie the black lab mix is surrounded by his friends as he recuperates from his knee surgery at Welfare for Animals Guild’s Halfway Home Ranch in Sequim.

“Charlie and his brother Henry were surrendered by a lady who had a change in lifestyle,” explained Deb Bemm, vice president of the Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG) board.

“They are big dogs, and the lady was getting older. She knew we would take care of them and find them a home.”

Bemm explained that Charlie has to have 12 weeks of care, pain control and rehabilitation— WAG works closely with veterinarians who offer their expertise — and “there are volunteers coming in to be with (Charlie) off and on all day,” she said.

Coco is famous for falling over 200 feet off a cliff in Port Angeles and surviving, with the help of veterinarians and WAG, Sequim’s non-profit dog rescue and rehab. “Her surgeons said it was a miracle she survived,” said Deb Bemm, Vice President of the Board. Photo courtesy of Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG).

Coco is famous for falling over 200 feet off a cliff in Port Angeles and surviving, with the help of veterinarians and WAG, Sequim’s non-profit dog rescue and rehab. “Her surgeons said it was a miracle she survived,” said Deb Bemm, Vice President of the Board. Photo courtesy of Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG).

After Charlie recovers he will have surgery on the other knee and the process will begin all over again.

“He’s a real sweetie pie, too,” said Bemm.

Charlie is one of the dogs that WAG, a a volunteer run rescue and rehabilitation nonprofit funded by grants and donations, supports medically. According to board member Joy Brown, the average medical costs WAG tallies each year can run between $40,000-$70,000, and that this year the organization has already spent $60,000 on medical bills.

Dogtoberfest

WAG is gearing up for their annual Dogtoberfest fundraiser set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, with an emphasis on “rescue and rehab,” according to Bemm.

The event will be virtual for a second year in a row, thanks to COVID restrictions. Like last year’s virtual event, WAG will host a silent auction, a “Raise the Paw” fundraising effort and, as in 2020, will get a boost from Tedesco’s Italian Fresh.

Tedescos will prepare and chill meals for supporters to pick up on-site for a $60 donation. The deadline for ordering is Wednesday, Oct. 13, and pick up at Tedesco’s, 210 W. Washington St., is between 11 am.- 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.

Janice Miller observes Buck and Pula the young Anatolians. According to Melanie Marshall of WAG, Janice spends a lot of time helping these fearful dogs become accustomed to interacting with people. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Janice Miller observes Buck and Pula the young Anatolians. According to Melanie Marshall of WAG, Janice spends a lot of time helping these fearful dogs become accustomed to interacting with people. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Dinner choices include chicken piccata with potatoes and vegetables, or vegetarian penne asiatico. Each meal will include misto salad, roll and butter, and a chocolate decadence square.

Asiatico is “a classic creamy Alfredo sauce combined with a Thai sauce of red curry, coconut milk and lemongrass,” noted Tedescos’ co-owner Tina Thomson. “It blends into a delicious sauce with just a touch of heat. It is very popular.“

One advantage to the virtual fundraiser, organizers said, is that as many people who want meals can order them as opposed to the in-person event, which was limited by the space.

Baskets for the silent auction will be on display at Tedesco’s for bidding during pickup.

Hank the 16-month-old hound is the “sweetest loving little boy ever,” according to Melanie Marshall of WAG, Sequim’s rescue and rehabilitation non-profit. She said that Hank wasn’t abused — he was just living with people who didn’t have the capability to take care of him the way he needs. “Keeping him exercised is his main thing. He loves other dogs and he loves people.” Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Hank the 16-month-old hound is the “sweetest loving little boy ever,” according to Melanie Marshall of WAG, Sequim’s rescue and rehabilitation non-profit. She said that Hank wasn’t abused — he was just living with people who didn’t have the capability to take care of him the way he needs. “Keeping him exercised is his main thing. He loves other dogs and he loves people.” Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

From now through the virtual Dogtoberfest event, which starts at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, people can “Raise the Paw” online at the same link they can order a meal — accessed through the front page of the WAG website at wagsequimwa.com.

This year’s reservation donation of $60 per person will go toward providing medical care, training and general care for the “residents” at the Halfway Home Ranch as well as their foster homes, WAG representatives said.

Community efforts

About 60 people are currently devoting their time to keeping WAG operational. Most are volunteers, with three part-time staff and one full-time staffer living on site. WAG workers strive to provide a home-like environment for dogs who have major challenges in their lives.

The number of dogs that are cared for every year can average 120-130, according to Melanie Marshall.

Among other activities, volunteers keep company with the dogs, rehabilitate the sick, injured, or emotionally wounded, build play and living spaces and keep the grounds beautiful.

A highlight for staff at Tedesco’s Italian Fresh — which will celebrate its four-year anniversary in November — is the annual WAG fundraiser.

People who donate to WAG’s Dogtoberfest fundraiser this year can choose between two dishes from Tedescos Italian Fresh. On the left is Chicken Piccata with potatoes and vegetables, in the middle the Misto Salad that comes with either meal, and on the right Vegetarian Penne Asiatico. Both meals come with bread and dessert. Tedescos’ co-owner Tina Thomson said, “We love WAG and admire what they do.” Meals must be pre-ordered from WAG’s website by Oct. 13. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

People who donate to WAG’s Dogtoberfest fundraiser this year can choose between two dishes from Tedescos Italian Fresh. On the left is Chicken Piccata with potatoes and vegetables, in the middle the Misto Salad that comes with either meal, and on the right Vegetarian Penne Asiatico. Both meals come with bread and dessert. Tedescos’ co-owner Tina Thomson said, “We love WAG and admire what they do.” Meals must be pre-ordered from WAG’s website by Oct. 13. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

“We first got involved when we adopted a dog in 2017, (and) we recently began fostering another,” Thompson said.

“We admire and respect their staff and their army of volunteers.

“WAG is such an asset to the community, I don’t know how they do what they do, it’s heartbreaking at times, but they quietly put their heads down, and plow through, always keeping the best interest of the animals above all.

“COVID has severely impacted their in person fundraising events, so here we are pivoting to a ‘virtual banquet’ model. Hopefully, the community will follow the pivot to support their efforts, I have a feeling, knowing the Sequim community they will.”

For more about Welfare for Animals Guild, see wagsequim wa.com.

Buck and Pula the 18-month-old Anataolians, are "very terrified of people," according to Melanie Marshall of Sequim's WAG dog rescue. "They came from a farm out west with too many dogs. We have individual volunteers that come in with them and teach them how to use a harness, be touched, take treats from our hands, and to be brushed." Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen
Pula, an Anatolian, slinks along the fence of one of WAG’s play and training yards, frightened by the unfamiliar figure of the photographer. Volunteers at WAG devote their time to helping dogs like Pula rehabilitate and ultimately find a forever home. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Pula, an Anatolian, slinks along the fence of one of WAG’s play and training yards, frightened by the unfamiliar figure of the photographer. Volunteers at WAG devote their time to helping dogs like Pula rehabilitate and ultimately find a forever home. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Franco, a friendly young hound mix, peeks out of his play yard at WAG, a non-profit, volunteer driven dog shelter in Sequim. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Franco, a friendly young hound mix, peeks out of his play yard at WAG, a non-profit, volunteer driven dog shelter in Sequim. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

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