Community

Marysville's Scrub-a-Mutt scores record turnout

From left, Melinda Faulkner and Brandyn Ruesken rinse off Blaze, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever, at the Strawberry Fields Park Aug. 21. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Melinda Faulkner and Brandyn Ruesken rinse off Blaze, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever, at the Strawberry Fields Park Aug. 21.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Last year's Scrub-a-Mutt fundraiser at the Strawberry Fields Park washed a total of 77 dogs for various animal charities.

This year, the third annual event took up many of the activities from this year's cancelled Poochapalooza and washed more than 260 dogs Aug. 21, collecting more than $4,000 that day alone.

"That doesn't even include our sponsorships, vendors and other donations, which put us close to $5,000," said Jennifer Ward, who co-founded the event with pet-sitter Elizabeth Woche. "I'm just so thrilled."

The dog wash fundraiser was created to support Old Dog Haven, the Northwest Organization for Animal Help, and the Marysville Dog Owners Group. Ward is unsure how many attendees were drawn by this year's addition of pet-related merchant booths and "best in show" dog contests, but she estimated that more than 500 people turned out for the event.

"Last year, we gave out about a hundred pet goodie bags, so this year, I figured I'd be safe with 150," Ward said. "We ran out of those right away. There were lines of people waiting to get their dogs washed several times during the day. We were supposed to start the event at 11 a.m., but we started serving people at 10:30 a.m. because they'd already started lining up at 9 a.m."

Ward credited her volunteers with handling the extra demand with aplomb.

"I can't begin to thank them enough," Ward said. "If I'd known we were going to have so many dogs, I would have assigned them shifts to give them breaks. Everyone worked so hard that I think we'll need until next year just to recover," she laughed.

Ward added that members of the Lake Stevens Animal Hospital trimmed the nails of at least 150 dogs.

Ward and Woche are still collecting pet food for Old Dog Haven and the Marysville Community Food Bank, and the Scrub-a-Mutt website at scrub-a-mutt.org includes online donation forms for those who could not attend the Aug. 21 fundraiser.

"We're already planning next year's dog wash, but we also want to increase our visibility during the rest of the year," Ward said. "We'd really like to turn this into a year-round collection drive."

Old Dog Haven seeks to provide homes for abandoned senior dogs. NOAH works with area animal shelters to rescue dogs and cats that run out of time in traditional shelters, and offers free and low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to pet owners with limited incomes. M-DOG consists of area dog owners working with the city of Marysville to create awareness about, and stewardship for, off-leash dog parks in the Marysville area, including Strawberry Fields. Scrub-a-Mutt raised money for these groups and "Pennies for Puppies," the latter as a way of thanking the Snohomish County Sheriff's Department for their participation in this year's event.

Old Dog Haven's website is at www.olddoghaven.org, NOAH's website is at www.thenoahcenter.org and M-DOG's website is at www.m-dog.org.

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