Scrub-a-Mutt supports local charities

MARYSVILLE — The second annual Scrub-a-Mutt fundraiser at the Strawberry Fields Athletic Park Aug. 22 had already surpassed its total attendance for last year within its first hour this year.

The dog wash fundraiser was created to support Old Dog Haven, the Northwest Organization for Animal Help, and the Marysville Dog Owners Group, and was started by graphic designer Jennifer Ward and pet-sitter Elizabeth Woche, who were inspired by an episode of Oprah that spotlighted the plight of dogs in puppy mills.

“We talked about doing a car wash fundraiser, but since this was for dogs we decided to wash dogs instead,” Ward said.

Sponsors for the event include A Bark Above Doggy Daycare, Dog Day Afternoon Grooming, Googenhymers pet grooming, Hinch Construction, K9 Korral dog and cat boarding, dog trainer Kristi Crabtree, Jones and Co. Pets supplies, Northwest Green Clean carpet cleaning, Paws Gourmet treats, Pick of the Litter Design graphic design services, Quil Ceda Veterinary Clinic and Wag-a-Muffins pet care service.

“Thanks to our sponsors paying for things like shampoo, swimming pools and towels, we can give 100 percent of what we make to these groups,” Ward said. “Last year, we only got 25 dogs, since we didn’t have the Strawberry Fields for Rover off-leash dog park back then, but we still raised about $1,000. Dog lovers are pretty generous.”

Not only did this year’s Scrub-a-Mutt manage to serve more than 25 dogs in its first hour of operation, but it also expanded its services from last year to include nail trimming for dogs. At the same time, every one of the event’s sponsors from its first year returned to Strawberry Fields Aug. 22, as the city of Marysville made sure that eight spray hoses would be available for the event’s eight wading pool dog-washing stations. Ward listed the non-profit’s other supplies as including 120 towels and two gallons of concentrated shampoo, which made 20 gallons of shampoo with the addition of water.

Ward thanked sponsors for supplying the materials for the “goody bags” that every dog received, including items like treats, toys and flea combs, and for serving as hands-on volunteers for the dog washing itself.

“We have pet groomers who have experience in handling skittish dogs,” Ward said. “I believe in supporting local businesses since I’m a local businessperson myself, so the furthest out that any of our sponsors come from is Lake Stevens.”

Ward also credited sponsors with generating extra funds by donating baskets of raffle prizes, since she estimated that many attendees spent as much as $15 each in raffle tickets to try and win the prize baskets of their choice.

Old Dog Haven seeks to provide homes for abandoned senior dogs and currently cares for more than 150 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 for Rover. Its annual fundraising event is Poochapalooza.

“You hear some of the stories from Old Dog Haven and they’re just so tragic,” Ward said. “One old dog had torn his ACL and they spent $1,600 to have a vet repair it. Old Dog Haven runs a monthly vet bill of about $19,000.”

Wendy Brown, of NOAH, explained that NOAH is similarly in need of both monetary donations and other goods, including food, pet beds and blankets, and even office supplies. Between Aug. 10-19, they handled more than 60 animal adoptions.

“We’ve got a special on cats now,” Brown said. “We’re helping Everett and King County out with both cats and kittens. If I could tell the public anything, it would be to adopt, adopt, adopt,” she said.

Marysville resident Pam White brought two of her dogs to the Scrub-a-Mutt event for the first time and was impressed with the level of care that she saw.

“It’s really good that they’re promoting dog ownership and taking care of your dogs,” White said. “Both of my dogs got their nails trimmed before they were bathed with shampoo and towel-dried. My Shepherd handled it really well, but my Labrador freaked out and became a fugitive in the field for about half an hour while we chased him down,” she laughed. “This dog wash was convenient and they did a good job. I’d certainly pay to have it done again.”

The Scrub-a-Mutt Web site.

Old Dog Haven’s Web site.NOAH’s Web site. AndM-DOG’s Web site.

Click here for more photos.

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