Howling At The Moon on Friday Evening

Nov 06, 2014

Those who long to take a walk on the wild side will have that opportunity tomorrow night at the Sixth Annual Howling at the Moon event hosted by the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southeast Missouri.

The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Westwood Center. Catering will be provided by Maya’s and “Thin Blue Line” will provide the entertainment. Sponsors for the event include Coffman & Company, Key Drugs, Hicks Animal Hospital, the Ripley County Veterinary Service, Budweiser, First Midwest Bank, Dental Arts Group, and Pack’s Do-It Center.

Charlotte Craig, organizer of the event, says that a silent auction will also be included in the evening’s festivities, and all money raised through the event will go towards establishing a no-kill shelter for the area. The $30 donation will include food and drinks, as well as the entertainment. Donations are tax deductible. Tickets are available at the door, Key Drugs and the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

Craig said one of the highlights of the evening will be an unveiling of the newly developed floor plan for the animal shelter to be built just north of Poplar Bluff.

Though establishing the no-kill shelter is a primary goal of the AWA, the group helps with every day pet care to keep the pet population under control and healthy.

“We offer financial aid to families to help them get their pets spayed or neutered,” explained Craig.

The AWA was formed in 2008 and has already accomplished much.

In addition to buying the property for the no-kill shelter and providing vouchers for spay and neuter procedures, the group bought bedding for all 30 dog cages at the Poplar Bluff Animal Shelter. The group maintains and replaces the bedding as needed. The group also assures that puppies are provided with distemper/parvovirus vaccinations at the shelter.

The group maintains a website to keep the public informed ( Donations to the group can be made online.

“We need all the help we can get,” said Craig. “We spend about $650 per month on vaccinations and spay/neuter vouchers.  And half of all donations go into our general construction fund for our no-kill shelter.”

The shelter will house stray and abandoned pets, Craig says the group tries to find homes for every pet.

“We’ve made a lot of connections with a lot of animal welfare organizations throughout the Midwest, and we have about 50 volunteers that help us foster animals and find permanent homes for them,” said Craig.

AWA has a board of directors made up of fourteen people from various professional backgrounds: Charlotte Wolpers Craig, Nancy Strack Abernathy, Carol Swain Lewis, Julita Michel, Zdena Zajickova-Hudson, Steve Whitworth, Mary Ann Rathe, Joyanne Githens Bates, Carla Letassy, Karen Coleman, Jim “Bo” Jeffers, Marge Van Praag, Genise Denton and Robin Powell.

“The one thing we all have in common is a love for animals,” said Craig. “Nothing is better than finding a loving home for a pet that has been struggling to get by without a home.”