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Humane Society to broadcast first live telethon

By jim Published: November 5, 2009

By Kathy Antoniotti
Beacon Journal staff writer

In many ways, the staff and volunteers for the Humane Society of Greater Akron are like parents.

They use the same tactics mothers and fathers employ when they tuck their children into bed each night.

There's a bedtime snack. A drink of water. And a favorite cuddle toy.

There are now more than 400 animals at the society's Boston Township facility, which was originally configured to hold just 125.

The society has announced it is moving to a larger facility in Twinsburg this winter.

The Humane Society's mission, to rescue abused and neglected animals in Summit County, relies almost entirely on donations.

And on Sunday it will broadcast its first live telethon from 2 to 5 p.m. on Time Warner's Channel 23 from Canal Park stadium in downtown Akron.

In the video beloew viewers will see the shelter's bedtime routine during a segment of the program. The video, accompanied by the song ‘‘Goodnight Little Cowpup,’’ written and recorded by county-western singer-songwriter Stephanie Davis, was made by local video producer Todd Glasser of DLP Recording Studios in Copley.

The group hopes to make the Save the Animals Imagine the PAWSibilities Telethon an annual event.

''This will give us three hours to really try to educate the public about our work. People love animals. We need to let them see how they can help them,'' said Humane Society Executive Director Karen Conklin.

The group hopes to raise $80,000 to help make a $1.4 million annual budget.

WONE radio's Your Morning Show personalities Christi Nichols and Tim Daugherty will co-host the event, along with Billy Soule, assistant to Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic for community relations.

''When you read these news stories about homes that have too many animals, the Humane Society is always there to help the animals, whether they have room or not,'' Daugherty said.

Conklin said the agency owes a debt of gratitude to Dale Gaydos, owner of Visualizations Ltd. Inc. of Stow, who donated ''thousands of dollars worth of time'' to produce the show.

''The creative part of this, on how every piece and parcel of this should come together, has been Dale's,'' Conklin said.

U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township, and retired Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Spicer plan to do live interviews. Families that have adopted pets from the shelter will share ''happy endings.''

Joel Silverman, formerly host of Animal Planet's Good Dog U, has taped a message for the show, and Kristin Branagan, director of animal placement and education at the local Humane Society, will demonstrate how the agency evaluates the temperament of each animal before it can be adopted.

Viewers will get a glimpse of the shelter's bedtime routine, something that only staff and volunteers usually witness. The video, created by Todd Glosser of DLP Recording Studios in Copley, is accompanied by the song Goodnight Little Cowpup, written and recorded by county-western singer Stephanie Davis.

Davis, who has recorded with superstars Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride, readily gave her permission to use the song, said Ron ''Bus'' Hill of Stow, director of development for the Humane Society of Greater Akron.

Hill first heard the ballad when Davis performed it on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.

''I got her e-mail address through her Web site. She e-mailed me back and said she was a huge animal advocate and supports humane societies across the country,'' Hill said.

The next day, Davis' manager, Rick Philip, sent Hill a copy of the song and permission to use it, he said.

Conklin said her goal is to make sure residents understand that rescued animals belong to ''everyone in Summit County.''

''As a community, we have a responsibility to take care of our children, our elderly and our animals. This is a way that people can do that,'' Conklin said.

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