Scrub-A-Mutt benefits rescue organizations | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — For the sixth year in a row, Strawberry Fields Athletic Park was packed with pooches ready to get a bath during the annual Scrub-A-Mutt fundraising dog wash on Saturday, Aug. 17, benefitting local animal rescue organizations.

“It was just awesome,” said Elizabeth Woche, who co-directs Scrub-A-Mutt with Jennifer Ward. “We have raised $6,500 so far and we had 353 dogs come through. We are so impressed with the turnout and the generosity of everyone involved.”

Scrub-A-Mutt is nonprofit organization that raises money through annual fund-raising events to support local animal organizations.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year,” said Lisa Steenson, executive director of the Northwest Organization for Animal Help. “The organizers are really accommodating to everyone and it is great to see dogs that were adopted from us come back to these events. It has a great sense of community and draws a lot of people every year.”

N.O.A.H. is one of the nonprofit organizations that benefits from the dog washing fundraiser where canines of all sizes are rinsed, sudsed, scrubbed and dried for a suggested donation of $5 for small dogs and $10 for large dogs. Volunteer veterinary technicians and groomers were on hand to carefully trim the toenails of four-legged friends for another $5 donation.

Jessica Williams brought Chance, her 2-year-old Australian Shepherd, to the event for the first time and said she will definitely be coming back again.

“This is awesome,” she said. “It’s a beautiful day, there are a ton of adorable dogs and I can get my puppy groomed for $15, while supporting local rescues. I couldn’t think of anything better, except maybe winning a basket in the raffle.”

Scrub-A-Mutt’s tent of baskets drew hundreds of spectators who bought $1 tickets to enter their name into the drawing to win dog-themed baskets, which included such prizes as custom-dog beds, obedience training certificates, pet portrait photography, toys, treats and more.

“I won three baskets last year, so that definitely drew me back,” said Alicia McGinnis, who brought her Chihuahua Lola.

Tents were set up for vendors including rescue organization representatives from around the state and local businesses catering to the care of dogs.

Old Dog Haven is a network of 200 foster homes for aging or final refuge dogs,” said volunteer Kelly Marlo. “It’s really an amazing group of people who come together to save all these old dogs that people abandon.”

Old Dog Haven is one of the beneficiaries of Scrub-A-Mutt’s funds, and Marlo told the story of a few Old Dog Haven rescues that she brought with her.

“Jessie was part of a hoarding situation where she was stuffed in a crate for years,” she said, of a friendly, female cattle dog mix. “When she was rescued she couldn’t even walk. But now she is alive and well and just a happy dog.”

Other rescue organizations brought adoptable dogs looking for new homes.

“This is our first year at Scrub-A-Mutt and I think it’s great that it’s something that people are looking forward to,” said JMe Thomas, executive director of Motley Zoo, an all-volunteer pet rescue based out of Redmond. Motley Zoo brought a number of adoptable dogs to Scrub-A-Mutt, including two  pit bull puppies with a heart-wrenching past.

“A woman contacted us and said she knew a man who was pretty much homeless, but he had two adult dogs and a litter of 11 two-day-old puppies,” said Thomas. “He refused to surrender them. Almost two months later she called back to say she had two of the puppies. We asked her what became of the rest and she said she didn’t know, but that he had fed anti-freeze to the dad because he believed him to be ‘too old.’ He had apparently been feeding the puppies oatmeal and condensed milk. The other nine babies either died or were given away, and when we got these two they were skinny and starving.”

The puppies, named Ricki and Marshall — after Rickenbacker guitars and Marshall amplifiers, in keeping with Motley Zoo’s music theme — were happy, healthy and playful as they rolled on the grass at Scrub-A-Mutt drawing a number of potential adopters.

“I love being a part of something that helps those who can’t help themselves,” said Williams. “We are doing this for the animals, not just our own, and having fun is just a nice side effect.”

Scrub-A-Mutt is hosting Dogtoberfest, a night of fundraising for adults in October, with a date and time still to be determined. Next year’s Scrub-A-Mutt dog wash is set for Aug. 16, 2014. For more information or to donate, visit


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