Monthly Archives: September 2015

Raffle benefits homeless animals

A Santa Fe bakery that specializes in quality treats for pets is sponsoring a raffle to support the Santa Fe animal shelter.Pooch Pantry raffle

Pooch Pantry Bakery & Boutique, 301 N. Guadalupe St., is raffling off an HP 15-inch Touch Notebook valued at $500 as first prize. Second prize is dinner for two at Geronimo’s, valued at $200 and third prize is a $100 gift certificate from the business.

The drawing will be held Sunday, Oct. 11, at the store, said owner Daphne Wright. Raffle tickets are available at the store and also during the shelter’s annual fundraiser, the Barkin’ Ball, Oct. 9.

The on-sight bakery features fresh, all natural, homemade treats made from the best ingredients. The store also carries a full line of raw foods, high-quality dog and cat foods and boutique items for pampered pets.

For more information, call the store at 820-1130.

Oktoberfiesta supports nonprofits

The Santa Fe animal shelter is among three nonprofits that will benefit from the Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s fifth annual Oktoberfiesta.

The two-day event is set from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18, at the brewery’s tasting room, 35 Fire Place off N.M. 14. The fiesta features live music, food trucks and contests. Cost is $10, which includes a $5 donation to the charity of the person’s choice.

In addition to the Santa Fe animal shelter, other nonprofits include The Prompt Institute, which helps people with speech disorders, and Esperanza of Greater Santa Fe, the support center for battered families.

For more information and a scheduled of events, please visit the brewery’s website,

Howl it up at the Barkin’ Ball!

Enjoy a fun-filled evening with your best furry buddy at this year’s Barkin’ Ball, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter’s annual fundraiser. This year’s Harvest Gala theme offers a chance to experience Americana at its best, with Yappy bbphotoHour cocktails, a plated dinner by Peas n’ Pod Catering, live music, a silent auction and an opportunity to shop in the Harvest Market store.

The community’s biggest bash to support Northern New Mexico’s furry friends is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion, 1607 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe.

As always, canines are welcome, and special accommodations are set to make the dog guests feel at home, including special diversions and an outside break area.

The unique event, hosted by Honey Harris of KBAC-98.1 FM, begins with a Yappy Hour, followed by the seated dinner and a silent auction. Music is by the Buckarettes. As in years past, Allen Winston of will offer complimentary pet and people portraits.

This year’s Harvest Market store offers unique gifts, jewelry, merchandise, gift certificates and curiosities donated by local artists and businesses that support the shelter. The items, which range in value, can be purchased at any time during the event. Some of the sponsors include: Teca Tu, A Pet-Worthy Emporium, Houshang Gallery, Ojo Caliente, Elite Island Resorts, Nedra Matteucci Gallery and When the Sun Reaches My Sister.

The opportunity to bring along a furry companion makes the gala unique, said Mary Martin, the shelter’s executive director.

“I love that people have an opportunity to socialize with their pet-loving friends as well as have their own pets with them,” she said. “We’ve worked hard to make this a wonderful happening, but most importantly, the Barkin’ Ball is critical to the Shelter and its ability to make a difference for pets and the people who love them. It’s one night of fun, but it supports the shelter for the entire year.”

Tickets are $125 – your dog is welcome for free. Reserved tables for 10 are available. For more information or tickets, call 505-514-0854. You may also purchase your tickets online at

Tales of Tails: Know what steps to take to rescue a dog in a hot car

The Santa Fe Fiesta Children’s Pet Parade is the perfect place to find a great story or two about dogs and people. Thus, last week Laurie and I got up early, drove to town and wound our way through the crowd to watch this traditional Fiesta event. Dogs! Kids in Costumes! Lizards and high school bands! (Go Capital Jaguars!)

We watched, took notes and then went to breakfast. I was testing ideas with Laurie, but nothing seemed to capture her attention. Of course, I was competing against Harry’s Roadhouse breakfast burritos.

But coming out of the Roadhouse, Laurie spotted two dogs sitting in a car, the windows cracked open.

It was 11 a.m., sunny and hot. Even with the windows partially opened, we could see that the dogs were hot. They were both panting.

I looked at Laurie and I could see her getting upset. This was a borderline situation, the windows were open and the dogs were getting air, but Laurie is the most passionate person I know about dogs in hot cars.

She turned to me and said, “You need to get me one of those window punches.” We use window punches at the fire department to quickly and safely take out a car window to gain access to victims after a car crash.

She was mad. But there was history here.

Two decades ago, we had been on vacation and had left our dogs with a house sitter. Somehow, our German shepherd had gotten into our parked car, got trapped and died of heat stroke. The house sitter had called us in hysterics after finding Riva dead. Neither of us has gotten over that. So, when Laurie asked for a window punch, I knew she was serious.

Here are the facts about dogs in cars: According to the Humane Society of the United States, when it is 80 degrees outside, the interior of a car can reach nearly 100 degrees in 10 minutes. At a balmy 72 degrees, a car can heat up to over 115 degrees in an hour. Cracked windows don’t do that much to help keep a car cool.

Don’t believe it? Park your car in the sun, open the windows an inch or so and then sit in your car for 30 minutes.

For most dogs, a body temperature above 103 degrees is abnormal, and if it reaches 106 degrees, heat stroke can occur. Heat stroke is when the body can no longer maintain a healthy temperature. Internal temperatures spike, organs fail, followed by a coma and death. It can happen quickly.

I’ve seen only one human case of heat stroke as an EMT. The patient went from talking to us in the Arizona desert to unconscious in 10 minutes. It was terrifying. Thirty minutes later in the hospital, her brain was swelling. She survived, but only because she had rapid and sophisticated intervention … something that will not be available for most dogs trapped in a car.

So here is Laurie’s dilemma: What do you do when you see a dog in a car that is in distress? Panting, excessively drooling, even panicked?

I start by asking, “What would you do if you saw an infant in an overheated car?”

First, I would call 911 and tell the operator what was going on and to have the police and fire departments respond. Then, I would get help. I’d find people to go into the surrounding stores and restaurants and urgently talk to the managers and let them try to find the vehicle’s driver.

Then I would I go back to the car. If I felt that the situation was worse, that the dog was in extreme danger, I would again call 911 and keep the person on the phone. I would make sure that I had witnesses to what I was going to do next.

As a last resort, with a dog’s life in danger, I’d break the window, just like I’d do for a child. And of course, there would be legal consequences. But I’m not going to let a dog die from heat stroke and negligence.

This, of course, is the extreme example. Hopefully the owner will be found in time and be apologetic. Hopefully, police and fire department officials will respond in time. Hopefully. But if not, Laurie’s and my plan is to never let a dog die in that situation.

So I got Laurie her window punch. And we both hope that she’ll never have to use it.

For more writings by Hersch Wilson on dogs, firefighters and life go to Contact him at

Thanks to you we are that much closer

Dear Friend of the Shelter,

As you may recall, a few months ago we shared our fundraising goal with you. This year, we need to raise 2015 Fundraising Goal
$3 million to save as many lives as possible and cover the cost of providing the level of care you have come to expect. Thanks to your incredible support, in the first seven months of this year, you and others like you, have helped us raise $1.46 million. We are blown away by your generous support!

But we still need your help. There’s a simple reason why it costs so much to keep the lights on at the Shelter: Homeless animals never stop coming in. Our spay/neuter initiatives are top priority and we offer low-cost and even free spay/neuter surgery on a weekly basis but until we get there, companion animals in our community depend on us – and on you.

When it comes to the animals in our care, we do what is necessary, no matter what. Sometimes this requires expensive medical procedures and hours of behavioral work. In the past, there were many animals we couldn’t save, simply because we didn’t have the financial resources. But you have stood beside us and let us know that every animal deserves individualized care and a chance at love.

We know you believe in our work and we simply cannot do it without your help. When you invest in your hometown Shelter, you are investing in one of the most progressive shelters in the nation. If you are curious to see how this work is being done, please call me for a visit so that you can see first-hand the highly detailed and efficient techniques we are using to save more lives than ever before.

We need your help to cover all our expenses in 2015 so that every homeless animal in our community has more than a second chance for a healthy, happy life and a loving family. We can’t do this work without you. Thank you for being such an important part of our Shelter family

With deepest gratitude,
Evelyn Viechec
Director of Growth
Santa Fe Animal Shelter

Office: 505-795-7390; Cell: 505-629-2037; Email:

To donate, please click HERE.