No one was safe from tripping over dog leashes, slobbery tongues or being whacked by a vigorously wagging tail at the Schweinhaus Biergarten’s Pups and Pints event on Saturday, May 21. Between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Schweinhaus, $1 from every purchase went to benefit the Whatcom Humane Society.
At least 100 people came out to support the cause with their faithful canine companions accompanying them. There were raffle prizes, a dog and owner look-alike contest, puppy pedicures and a best trick competition.
The event was sponsored by Bellingham Bark, an organization dedicated to the pets and pet owners of Bellingham, Yelp and Schweinhaus Biergarten in honor of Be Kind to Animals month. Throughout May, close to 50 Bellingham businesses have been participating to various degrees in raising funds for the humane society, said Dana Browne, special events manager for the Whatcom Humane Society.
Rocket Donuts donated 5 percent of their sales for one day, a few Haggen stores have had a round-up-your-change option at checkout, Kulshan Brewing Company and Wander Brewing have hosted similar “pint nights” where one dollar for every pint was donated and numerous other businesses have been selling “paw prints” for a $1 or $5 donation, Browne said. The customer purchases the paw print, writes his or her name on it and it gets hung up in the establishment.
“This is another way that everybody can give on a nice, small level, and when we pull it all together, it adds up,” Browne said. Last year, close to $8,000 was raised during Be Kind to Animals month.
The Whatcom Humane Society typically cares for and shelters about 5,000 animals each year and proceeds from events like Pups and Pints go directly to these animals.
Jennifer Jones, Bellingham community ambassador for Yelp, was at the event facilitating the contests and speaking to community members. She said that she and the folks at Bellingham Bark had been planning the event for the past six months. Initially, they expected it to be something small held at just a local dog park. When they reached out to Schweinhaus and received their support, it was able to grow into something much more substantial. Jones said that she adopted a pup from the Whatcom Humane Society just a few weeks prior.
Rebecca Noel and her dog, Scout, won the dog and owner look-alike contest. They both had black hair and big grins, which was enough to win the judges over. Scout’s little bolo hat likely helped him win their favor as well. Noel said she likes Schweinhaus because it’s dog-friendly and she takes her dogs with her anywhere she goes.
Peter Ostrovsky attended the event with his monstrous Leonberger, Bear. He said that Leonbergers are bred to look like lions, and her big old mane was a testament to her breeding. He said that he was there supporting the cause because all dogs deserve a chance to find a home.
“We’re dog lovers, and we want to do whatever we can to support people and their pets,” Ostrovsky said.
Another attendee, Emily Lester, said she was hoping to get her Rottweiler mix, Scarlet, more socialized at the event. She said she’s good with people and their eight chickens at home but hasn’t had many opportunities to socialize with other dogs. She said the event does a great job of raising awareness that there are so many animals that need good homes.
There was a yellow lab puppy named Kaya that dragged her owner in to meet the other dogs. Katja Burrough, Kaya’s human, said “my heart is with the humane society and the dogs [there].”