Bassoon and Reed, a pair of bonded dogs up for adoption at the Frederick County Division of Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center, had a chance to be models as they walked the runway at the shelter’s Holiday Happy Tails event earlier this week.
The pit bull mix and Yorkshire terrier were clad in T-shirts sponsored by local businesses and walked down the runway by Frederick first responders.
The event, held Tuesday at McClintock Distilling on Carroll Creek, was a chance for the shelter to show off some of the animals up for adoption while sharing a number of success stories from 2019.
“We do happy things. We do wonderful things for animals in the community,” said Linda Shea, division director. “We wanted to put together an event that would demonstrate that, and also to dispel some of the myths that people have about the shelter, what we do, what we don’t do.”
One of those misconceptions, Shea said, is how many animals the shelter euthanizes.
“I think people, even if they don’t ask the question, they assume what the answer is,” Shea said.
The event was a chance to show that they always give the animals who come into their shelter a fighting chance, even if it is difficult. They try to place the animals in a home through a variety of means, including foster care or moving them to other rescue missions.
Fifteen of the shelter’s cats are living at the K.A.T. Cafe in New Market, where visitors pay a flat fee to play with the cats, all of which are adoptable.
Shea took to the microphone to share pictures and stories of animals adopted in the previous year.
One of those animals was Honey, who was brought into the shelter by a couple after she destroyed much of their furniture. Honey is now a cadaver dog in training, thanks to her strong will and sense of smell.
Before and after the fashion show, volunteers and employees of the shelter introduced attendees to some of the adoptable animals. Hayley Beyer, a kennel technician, held Jojo, a small Chihuahua mix who is nervous around people and was visibly shaking.
Beyer said that Jojo would make a great lap dog in a relaxed environment.
“I’m really just hoping that people get a view into why we do what we do,” Beyer said. “Sometimes the public has a negative view of some of the policies we use or some of the reasons we do things, but in the end it’s for the animals, always.”
Lisa Smith, a volunteer at the shelter, was introducing attendees to Bently, a 2-year-old pit bull mix who is visually impaired.
“Some of the dogs that come in are scared, and you have to start so slow, and to see them make progress, and see them get friendly and warm up and able to get adopted in good homes, it just makes it all worth it,” Smith said. “And of course they love on me just as much as I love on them.”
Anyone who is interested in volunteering or adopting an animal can contact the animal shelter at 301-600-1546.