Ten-year-old dog fortune-teller Elizabeth Nolan held her client’s furry paw and looked deep into his eyes. “You are a small dog with a big heart. You make people happy. I see kibble in your future,” she told him before being rewarded with excited puppy kisses and a $5 donation for the SPCA.
Dog fortune-telling was one of the delights and oddities at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County’s 7th annual Puppy Plunge at Camp Letts. Dogs of all sizes also modeled canine swimwear in a fashion show and competed in pie-eating contests. The main event, a dive into the Rhode River — with a Petite Beach for small dogs and Muscle Beach for large dogs — gave welcome relief from the heat and humidity for both canines and their human companions. Good food, music and vendors added to the festive atmosphere.
The goal of all this fun and frolicking, however, was to raise money to support the work of the SPCA.
“We know this year’s event total exceeds $32,000, and we are really, really happy with that amount,” said Kelly Brown, SPCA of Anne Arundel County president.
As a no-kill, non-profit shelter, the SPCA provides housing for homeless animals, low-cost vaccinations, a spay and neuter clinic and a food bank for pets. Last year, services included 4,350 vaccines, 14,968 pounds of dry food and 3,786 cans of wet food to animals in need as well as new loving homes for 1,811 cats, dogs and other small animals.
The Puppy Plunge and other fundraising events throughout the year enable the SPCA to deliver these services. Additionally, the organization needs funding to provide medical care for the animals that come sick or injured.
“Animals can’t tell us about their injuries, so we rely on X-rays and veterinarians,” Brown explained.
The organization depends heavily on volunteers. More than 600 people give their time and expertise every year, and 75 volunteers were on-hand at the Puppy Plunge, doing jobs from directing traffic to emceeing. As well as adult volunteers, people as young as 13 team up with adults to help through the SPCA’s Adult/Teen program. This year, Adult/Teen volunteers raised more than $400 by washing dogs at the Puppy Plunge.
Next on the SPCA calendar are The Rockin’ Raffle at Annapolis Towne Center’s Friday Concert on August 24 and the Veils for Tails Grand Opening on September 22.