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October 01. 2012 11:16PM

Lakes Region Barktoberfest a paws-itively wonderful way to fundraise


Freedom Police officer Matt Tyler, left, commands Boone, a German shepherd, to apprehend Wolfeboro police officer Jim O'Brien during a demonstration Saturday after the Lakes Region Humane Society Barktoberfest and Woofe-Minster Walk. (Larissa Mulkern Photo)

OSSIPEE — The Lakes Region Humane Society let the dogs out this past weekend when it hosted the annual Barktoberfest and Woofe-Minster Walk for dogs and their masters. Dozens of animal-loving, shelter-supporting masters participated in a mile-long walk with their dogs during Saturday's event. Between pledges, raffles and donations, the walk raised more than $3,000 for the shelter.

Participants were treated to a post-walk cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, deserts and drinks. Besides good food, another highlight included the trained police dog demonstrations by K-9 unit handlers from area police departments.

Teams included Wolfeboro Police Officer and LRHS Board Member Jim O'Brien, and his German shepherd Blek; Freedom Police Officer Matt Tyler and his German shepherd Boone, and Ossipee Police officer Tony Castaldo and his German shepherd Zeus.

In an amazing show of discipline and force, the officers commanded the dogs, one at a time, to apprehend a suspect — in this case, the suspect was O'Brien, outfitted with arm padding. Taking turns, the dogs would chase and attack O'Brien until the handler commanded the dog to retreat. All three of the officers said the dogs love to play and work. The dogs come home with the officers and get along well with the officers' children and other family dogs.

The audience and dog walk participants included many owners of rescued dogs, like Charles Dingle who rescued Ian, an Italian greyhound, from an abusive home seven years ago. LRHS volunteer Barry Knight adopted a young husky, Harley, after the dog appeared from out of the woods and was never claimed.

The top three fundraisers were Kayla O'Brien, Sally Weir and Derrie Saunders.

The Lakes Region Humane Society is a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Donations can be mailed to LRHS, P.O. Box 655, Ossipee, NH, 03864 or dropped off at 11 Old Route 28, Ossipee. The shelter also accepts online donations. Visit the web site at www.lrhs.net for more information and to check out the center's wishlist.

lmulkern@newstote.com


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