Dog lovers show for fundraiser

Published 11:40 pm Saturday, September 22, 2007

NATCHEZ — Sometimes, even man’s best friend can find himself friendless, and area residents gathered at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians Saturday to raise money for the dogs and cats residing at the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society shelter.

The 15th annual Bark in the Park was Saturday, and more than 300 people showed up for the fundraising event, organizers said.

“I’ve been doing this for five years, and this is the biggest turnout I’ve ever seen,” Natchez-Adams County Humane Society board member Susan Mingee said.

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During the event, local dog-owners brought their pets before a line of judges, and the animals were judged on categories ranging from cutest puppy to best costume to best mutt.

Natchez resident Diane Tuccio said she adopted her terrier Katrina — who competed in the costume contest in a doggie Superman costume — after the dog was evacuated to the area in the wake of the infamous hurricane of the same name.

“Her family came to Natchez, but they weren’t able to keep her,” she said.

Natchez residents John and Kim Segrest were also at the event with their adopted dog, Dale, named after the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Dale, a longhaired terrier, was adopted from the humane society two years ago, John Segrest said.

“Our old dog had to be put down for congestive heart failure, and two days after that I decided to go to the shelter and see what they had,” he said. “I looked at him, and he looked at me and the rest is history. I don’t know how anyone could have put him in there.”

All of the funds raised at Bark in the Park will go toward the operation of the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society shelter, board member Nan Garrison said.

“Of course we can always use food and cleaning supplies, but we always need money to pay our employees, our utilities, our veterinarian bills,” she said.

The shelter currently houses approximately 200 animals, and the animals are almost evenly divided between cats and dogs, Garrison said.

Adoption costs $45 for dogs and $35 for cats, and that cost includes all of the shots and having the animal spayed and neutered, Garrison said.

“We only take in about $5 for every adoption,” she said.

The Natchez-Adams County Humane Society shelter is located at 392 Liberty Road in Natchez, and can be contacted at 601-442-4001.