Rhinestone Cowboy Fur Ball 2015 is May 15

Fur-Ball_with-photo-logoTickets are sold out for Stafford Animal Shelter’s biggest annual, and always popular fundraiser, Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa’s Fur Ball on Friday, May 15th from 6-9 pm. The theme this year is “Rhinestone Cowboy” so it will be a fun one to dress up, or down, for! As the Shelter’s main annual fundraiser, Fur Ball raises money to feed homeless pets all year round.

big_sky_logo_current_5.14.12 The evening will kick off with Big Sky Photo Booth pictures, live music from the Hollowtops, and fun food and libations from Chico Hot Spring in the Big Top tent. The tent also features the popular silent auction with a wealth of generous donations from area businesses and artisan goods from 10981912_819565364781899_4829297208870474541_ntalented individuals ranging from fishing, rafting and zipline trips, fine art and jewelry, equine accessories, ceramics, restaurant meals, spa services, pet portraits and many pet services and goods.

The Hollowtops Bluegrass Band
The Hollowtops Bluegrass Band

The silent auction in the tent close at 7:30 pm (so come early and bid fiercely!) and seating in the Convention Center begins at 7 pm for a deluxe sit down dinner with wine and beer pairings. Meet Happily Adopted Alumni dogs to see who your funds help then the exciting live auction starts at 8 pm. The live auction includes deluxe items such as original art, artisan furniture, a private meeting for 2 adults with Brutus the Bear and Casey Anderson, a lavish Instant Wine Cellar from Colin Davis and Chico Hot Springs, jewelry, great vacation adventures, and more! See below for a slideshow of some of the available items.

Edd Enders Painting in Auction
Edd Enders Painting in Auction

Can’t join us or want a Live Auction item but can’t afford the auction price? Then the Luxury Raffle is for you! The winner gets their pick of ALL the auction items, you need not attend to win and your odds are good as only a hundred $50 tickets are sold. Like the event tickets, these also usually sell out before the event and will be available online or at the Shelter soon. Purchase event tickets online at right, call 406/222-1313 or email pr@staffordanimalshelter.org to learn more.

Special Showing of "Sylvia" benefits Stafford Animal Shelter

Carmen Dunn and Steve Leuzinger in “Sylvia” Livingston Enterprise photo by Hunter D’Antuono

The Blue Slipper  Theatre in Livingston is holding a special showing of the play “Sylvia” which focuses on a dog by the same name (played by Carmen Dunn) on Sunday 3/22/15 at 3 p.m. to benefit The Stafford Animal Shelter. The play, written by playwright A.R. Gurney, begins with a man who finds a dog in a park. A humorous tale unfolds covering a midlife crisis, a man’s love for his dog and disagreements between husband and wife. And the dog can speak.

All proceeds (after the royalty fee) from this special showing will be donated to Stafford Animal Shelter dogs, who can not speak for themselves! The Blue Slipper is also helping with the Shelter’s wish list by requesting that guests bring cans of pet food, guinea pig/rabbit food or treats. Come see a unique comedy and help Stafford at the same time! (Warning: this play does contain some swear words). Call the Blue Slipper at 406/222-7720 to reserve your seat today.

Learn more about the play in the Livingston Enterprise story here. Stafford Animal Shelter is grateful to the Blue Slipper Theatre for this fun and funny fundraiser!

Tax Deductible Donations Help Change Lives!

Gwen_resize_12-15-12 067As the year draws to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon 2014. During the year, Stafford Animal Shelter has taken in over 900 animals in need; not just dogs and cats, but also guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, and even some lizards. The Rosie Fund, a special fund just for animals with major medical needs, provided hip surgery, Turbo_resize_11-27-12 124corrective eyelid surgery, bladder stone removal, assistive implants for a cat who had lost his front paws to an accident, and several dental cleanings and extractions. More than 200 animals were spayed or neutered, including rabbits and even a few guinea pigs. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of donors like you.

We are extremely fortunate to live in such a charitable community. We receive no financial support from national animal welfare organizations nor are we funded by any government entities. Stafford Animal Shelter relies heavily on the kindness of individual donors to be able to keep our doors open and provide housing and care to the lost, abandoned, and surrendered animals of Park and Sweetgrass Counties.11-28-13 109

When you make a donation to Stafford Animal Shelter, you can rest assured that it is being used judiciously and for a good cause. 75% of our annual income goes to direct care of the animals. All donations to the Shelter are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. That means that you can help yourself (who can argue with a lower tax bill?) while helping animals. Plus you can come meet and snuggle with the grateful recipients of your generosity.

We encourage you to think of homeless pets this year when assessing your finances and considering your gifts. Thank you for helping us continue to serve the needy pets in our area. Give securely online right now!

Celebrate December 2nd

Chatterbox_resize_11-27-12 09412-21-12 033How purrrfect that December 2nd is Giving Tuesday AND Celebrate Shelter Pets Day. Why not make a donation in honor of Shelter pets and the love they give on December 2nd? Plus, tax deductible 🙂 Give securely online today here. Thanks for making it possible for Shelter pets to find forever love this holiday!

Santa Paws Photos

Patty and Terry Martin with their Shelter dogs Sage and Emma
Patty and Terry Martin with their Shelter dogs Sage and Emma

Having pictures taken with Santa is a time honored holiday tradition, and can also help homeless pets.

Lil Erickson and her Shelter  pup meet Santa Paws
Lil Erickson and her Shelter pup meet Santa Paws

You, your kids and pets can have their photos taken with Santa at Ace Hardware at 1106 West Park St. in Livingston on Saturday November 29th between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Our friends at Ace are donating ALL the proceeds from these Santa photos to pets in need at Stafford Animal Shelter! So come get your Santa photo taken and it will be shared with you electronically so you can make it into a holiday card, ornament or whatever you desire. This is the only Shelter Santa Paws opportunity this year so don’t miss it! Happy Howladays from all of us!

Nonprofit Night Beer Fundraiser Nov. 18

Owner LaNette
Owner LaNette

photo-12Join Stafford Animal Shelter at the new Katabatic Brewery on Tuesday November 18th for a fun, foamy (in a beer way) fundraiser.  If you haven’t been to the wonderfully remodeled location at 117 West Park in Livingston, this is a great excuse to stop by – because you’re drinking beer for a cause! $1 of every beer goes to feed Shelter pets between 4pm-8pm on this night. So clear your calendar for a Tuesday night out at the Katabatic Brewery to benefit Stafford Animal Shelter pets. Learn about what’s new at the Shelter, volunteer opportunities and adoptable pets too! Thanks to LaNette and Brice for hosting the fundraiser, learn more about Katabatic at http://katabaticbrewing.blogspot.com/ or follow them on Facebook.

Octoberfest Celebration October 16

imagesEveryone is invited to attend the Stafford Animal Shelter’s Octoberfest Celebration Thursday, October 16 from 5 – 7 pm. The event will celebrate the completion of “Project Happiness”: outdoor play areas were created to enrich dogs’ and cats’ time at the Shelter (and volunteers and adopters can enjoy them too!)

The Octoberfest beer and brats party includes tours of the newly landscaped play areas with refreshments served in the Shelter’s multi-purpose “barn”. Beer is provided by Neptune Brewery and is a Pint Night Fundraiser with $1 from each of the $4 pints of tasty brew supporting the Shelter. Bratwurst are donated by award-winning Matt’s Meat’s Market and will be simmered in beer then barbequed by Nick Esp of the Sport. Snacks, sodas, buns, decorations and more generously donated by our great friends at Albertson’s! The event is also a Business Afterhours Livingston Chamber event and a thank you to Project Happiness volunteers and supporters. To learn more, call Kris at 222-1313 or email pr@staffordanimalshelter.org.

So come check out what’s new and exciting at Stafford Animal Shelter, meet the adoptable pets who will benefit from the play areas and your donations and enjoy fabulous local cuisine and beer!

Project Happiness Begins

Our new grassy yard will be fun for pups and people alike.
Our new fenced, grassy play yards will be fun for  pups and people alike.

You’ve heard that it’s coming: Our new animal enrichment program, Project Happiness. We are excited to say that we’re wrapping up the initial phase of the Project- some administrative details and the creation of some terrific new outdoor areas (thanks to a host of fabulous volunteers, see the list below!) – and are now ready to begin the next stage.

A dog awaiting adoption romps in one of the new runs
A dog awaiting adoption romps in one of the new runs

We are asking for volunteers to help us provide enrichment for the animals. To participate, we ask that folks have spent at least 10 hours volunteering with us so that you are familiar with the facility, the animals, and have an idea of how things work.  After that, a short training session is required for the species of your choice (cats, dogs, or both) to participate. At the end of each session, a training for working with the exotics will be offered for those interested. Once a part of the Project, we ask for a commitment of at least one hour per week for three months.

Enrichment is a vital part of an animal’s well being while in a shelter, just as important as food, safety, and medical care. Just like people, stress can wreak havoc on an animal’s health and behavior. Our enrichment program is designed to help relieve stress by giving animals something to do or think about and giving them extra attention. By helping them stay happy, you will be helping them stay healthy and be adopted more quickly.

Cats prepare to tackle a treat puzzle.
Cats prepare to tackle a treat puzzle.

In Project Happiness volunteer trainings, we will discuss basic body language, identifying stressed or fearful animals and how to help them, group and individual enrichment activities (like food/treat puzzles, providing smells to investigate, exercise, etc.), Gentle Leaders for dogs, walking on a harness for cats, basic obedience commands, and more. We will also discuss our system of tracking enrichment activities and each animal’s progress. (Don’t worry- it’s a simple log, not hours of tedious paperwork!) Though many of you may already be familiar with some or all of these topics, it’s important that we are consistent for the animals’ sakes. Mixed messages about what a command means or how to behave in a certain situation can cause more stress rather than relieve it. If you would like to sign up for a training or have any questions, feel free to email volunteer@staffordanimalshelter.org.

For extra help in the creation and construction of Project Happiness Spaces for pets, we are very grateful to: Tom & Claire Lemke, Dennis & Darlene Tilton, Jodi Litchfield Designs, Yvonne Venturino, Alicia Davis, Mike Gomez, David Drake, Brandy Jacobson, Native Landscaping, Irrigation from Hank Fabich of Green Again, JD Prosser fencer and Dunkle Fencing, Murdochs for fencing, Master Gardener Coordinator Tracey Mosley, Aaron Kling and his volunteer group and Heather Bellamy and Matt Fettig of Northwestern Energy. We can be there for the pets because you all are there for us!

Doggone Good Time at Bark in the Park 2014

Bark in the Park LogoStafford Animal Shelter’s 11th Annual Bark in the Park was a doggone good time! The event is ruled byBark in Park 2014 104 laughter, creativity, generosity, impressive feats and happy dogs.
On Sunday August 17th the contests in the pool and park were as silly as they were awe inspiring – with fierce competition in the doggie swimsuit pageant, fastest swimmer, best trick, best dressed, dog owner look-a-like, Coolest Cat Photo contest and more. Congratulations to Shyla Gordon who raised the most money in the ‘Pup’ularity Contest and Rylee Fisher who was a close second – these philanthropic teens singlehandedly raised more funds for pets this year than a dozen folks have in years past! This year we had more wonderful and generous vendors than ever before offering a wide range of pet-centric services and products to lucky Bark in the Park attendees.
This admission-free pet party would not happen without the support of many sponsors, donors, volunteers and participants. Bark in Park 2014 012Special thanks to the 50 plus volunteers who tirelessly advocate for pets and our wonderful emcee and sponsor, Pam McCutcheon of Small Dog Realty. Contests were decided by our great 2014 Judges: Debbie Perryman, Susann and Larissa Saarel. Big thanks to generous event vendors and services: Professional Pet Portraits from Angie Froke, Alara Jewelry fine crafted dog breed charms, All Wags N Whiskers did free nail clipping to benefit the Shelter, Gone to the Dogs had an “Ask a Groomer” booth and grooming discounts to benefit the Shelter, and Banfield Pet Hospital offered free dental exams and microcBark in Park 2014 101hip scanning on site. Hot dogs were generously provided by our great sponsors, Spur Line.
Thank you also to our Bark in the Park level Business Advocate Sponsors: Black Dog Rehab, Kay Boutique & wholesale Girls, Kenyon Noble, Marks In & Out Beefburgers, Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply, Mustang Fresh Food & Catering, Sealtight Chinking, Select Stone, Tri-County Sheet Metal and Yellowstone Physical Therapy and our Companion Sponsors: Alara Jewelry, American Bank, Arrowhead Electric Inc., At Home on the Range pet Cemetery, Best Western Mammoth Host Springs, Creekside Veterinary Hospital, Crown Creations Cabinet Makers, Dude & Sara Jane Tyler, Realtors with the Ranch Brokers and David Viers & Assoc., Jon Ellen Snyder, ERA Western Land, First Choice Accounting, Guardian Title, Livingston’s Ace Hardware, Miller Architects, Montana Farrier Supplies, Native Landscaping & Reclamation, Nevin’s Glass and Windows, Quensenberry Insurance Agency, The Spur Line, USKH Architecture & Engineering and Wells Fargo Bank.Bark in Park 2014 069
Thanks too Printing for Less for the great newsletters to publicize the event and Insty Prints for event posters. Media Partners: KGLT, KBZM, KBZK TV, Bozone, Park County Journal, Montana Pioneer, Livingston Enterprise, and Shields Valley eNews, for discount or free publicity. Special thanks: Jill Redmon of Montana Party rentals for our tent rentals, Breanna Polacik, Steve Briggs and the Livingston City Pool Staff. Thanks to Zig for the last minute sound system.



Sunday Bark in the Park
Most funds raised by Youth: 1) Shyla Gordon  – $235 and 2) Rylee Fisher –  $200
Coolest Cat Photo Contest: 1) Lynn St. Clair’s Marvin 2) Sheila Claycomb’s Bailey & Dale 3) Mary Hesse’s Teeka
Pool Contests 
Best Swimsuit: 1) Jolley’s Cooper 2) Gordon’s Lily 3) Coleman’s ButchBark in Park 2014 1273
Fastest Swimmer: 1) Ferguson’s Zorro 2) Greger’s Jack 3) Williams’ Molly
Longest Jump: 1) Greger’s Jack 2) Sieger’s Mr. Peabody 3) St Clair’s Newt
Park Contests
Best Dressed:
1) Shyla  Gordon & Lily
Fastest Mutt: 1) Aller’s Flynn 2) Greger’s Jack 3) Williams’ Molly
Best Look-a-like: Youth 1) Rose and Grace Jones & Bella 2) Shyla Gordon & Lily 3) O’Dea Family & Ranger, Honorary Prize: Marissa Taylor & Pheobe
Best Look-a-like: Adult 1) Betty Greathouse & Buddy
Smallest Dog: 1) Ehler’s Joy 2) Cortez’s Coco 3) Sharp’s RuckusBark in Park 2014 1291
Biggest Dog: 1) Skinner’s Elsa
Best Singer: 1) St. Clair’s Newt 2) Claycomb’s Sorbet
Best Trick: 1) St. Clair’s Newt 2) Cox’s Baxter 3) Taylor’s Pheobe
BEST IN SHOW: Rose and Grace Jones’ Bella

Bark in the Park Contest Winners

Bark in the Park LogoFor Dog Days of Summer 5k fun run/walk results visit here and for pool photos and more event information visit here.

Park ContestsBark in Park 2014 1291
Best Dressed:
 1) Shyla  Gordon & Lily
Fastest Mutt: 1) Aller’s Flynn 2) Greger’s Jack 3) Williams’ Molly
Best Look-a-like: Youth 1) Rose and Grace Jones & Bella 2) Shyla Gordon & Lily 3) O’Dea Family & Ranger, Honorary Prize: Marissa Taylor & Pheobe
Best Look-a-like: Adult 1) Betty Greathouse & Buddy
Smallest Dog: 1) Ehler’s Joy 2) Cortez’s Coco 3) Sharp’s Ruckus

Biggest Dog: 1) Skinner’s Elsa
Best Singer: 1) St. Clair’s Newt 2) Claycomb’s Sorbet
Best Trick: 1) St. Clair’s Newt 2) Cox’s Baxter 3) Taylor’s Pheobe
BEST IN SHOW: Rose and Grace Jones’ Bella