Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Adoptions inspire auction item

Pit bull owners donate safari

Express Staff Writer

Thanks to two rescued pit bulls, supporters of the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley will have the chance to bid on an eight-night African safari this week.

Paul and Caroline Swart, owners of safari guiding company Natural Migrations, have donated the safari to the shelter's benefit, the Dog Days of Summer, to be held Friday, July 27.

While the safari will not be the only live auction item, shelter spokeswoman Brooke Bonner said it is the headline item—and it all came about because of the Swarts' love for two shy shelter dogs.

Paul said he became familiar with the shelter when he and Caroline were living in Sun Valley.

"We got our first dog from there," he said. "He was a pit bull mix, and no one wanted him."

Tsonga, the dog, was a little rough around the edges at first, Paul said, chasing cats and generally not minding his manners. But it wasn't long before he decided to shape up.

"It took two weeks until he decided, 'OK, I'd better fit in,'" Paul said. "[After that], he never did a thing wrong. It was such a pleasure to have him."

When Tsonga passed away suddenly, Paul and Caroline decided to adopt Chobe—a pit bull mix formerly known as Mo who was so skittish that he had been placed in a foster home.

Paul said the issue of no-kill shelters is very close to his heart, and one of the few causes to which he will always donate.

"I get asked for a lot of donations all the time," he said. "I didn't even hesitate. Both of the dogs we've had would not have stood a chance in another shelter."

The prize is a two-person eight-night safari, two of which will be spent at the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. The other six nights will be spent at safari camps in Botswana.

Though tickets to the event were mostly sold out as of press time, tons of amazing auction items like travel, jewelry and pampering sessions are posted online at The online auction is open until 5 p.m. today.

Kate Wutz:

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.