Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Howling in the wind

Express Staff Writer

Chopper entertains his human, Joe Yelda, by pretending the steak on his nose trick is an original idea. With a circus theme for the Paw n Pole this year, organizers expect a lot of the unexpected. Courtesy photo by Brooke Bonner

Now's the chance to run away with the circus as the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley rallies dogs and their stupid human tricksters for a few hours of frivolity for a good cause.

This year's theme for the 27th annual Happy Howlin' Paw 'n' Pole is "three-ringed circus," and the public is invited to put their clown caps on and pull together acts to enter in the best costume competition, silly pet trick contest, best dogs on leashes and cross-country ski and snowshoe races.

"Every year at the Paw 'n' Pole we're delighted to see the creative and fun costumes people come up with for themselves and their dogs," said shelter Executive Director Jo-Anne Dixon. "After 27 years, this event is better than ever. We can't wait to see what people do with the circus theme this year."

Anyone with an idea and no dog is invited to partner up with one from the shelter.

The shelter in Hailey was the first "no-kill" shelter in Idaho. It promotes companion animal welfare by providing temporary shelter for homeless animals, adopting them to qualified homes and reducing animal abuse, neglect and overpopulation through community education and spay/neuter services. The shelter is funded almost entirely by private donations and grants.

In 2011, more than 1,200 animals received services from the shelter, including 390 animal adoptions, 259 lost animals reunited with their owners, 332 pets spayed or neutered and more than 10,600 pounds of food distributed through the Paws for Hunger partnership with The Hunger Coalition.

For more information, call 788-4351, or visit

Happy Howlin' Paw 'n' Pole

What: A fundraising event that brings dogs and their costumers out of the shadows and onto skis or snowshoes for games, contests and races.

When: Sunday, March 4, at 10 a.m.

Where: Sun Valley Gun Club.

Entry fees: $5 per child, $10 per adult, $20 per family. Includes lunch and a raffle ticket for a North Valley Trails pass. Registration on site on day of race.

Details: 788-4351.

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