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Stow Armory show to raise funds for Humane Society program

By jim Published: May 19, 2009

An employee of the Humane Society of Greater Akron found the Rottweiler tied to a tree on Quick Road across the street from the shelter.

It was a nice fall morning and the dog was in good shape — not like the agency's usual rescues that arrive sick, abused and neglected.

The dog had a microchip implant identifying his owner, also unusual for a stray.

Unfortunately, the Akron man who owned the dog was serving his country in Iraq when his pet was abandoned.

The incident made an impression on Karen Conklin, executive director of the humane society, who said she started thinking about other active military personnel and veterans who have pets they are unable to care for.

''They don't need to be dodging bullets and worrying about where their dogs and cats are and whether the people they leave them with are caring for them,'' Conklin said.

Conklin, whose son Adam is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, said the problem is widespread. Conklin's mother was in the Coast Guard in World War II.

''One of the things we know is that across the country, senior citizens with animals and no family resist going to the doctor so they aren't told they have to go to a hospital. They put their own health care on hold and themselves at risk because they worry about what's happening to their animals,'' Conklin said.

To help create a safety net for such animals, the group will host the BOW WOW Boogie and USO Show from 6 to 11 p.m. June 6 at the Stow Armory.

Tickets for the ‘‘canteen-style’’ dinner dance are $35. Reservations, which can be made through the society at 330-657-2010 or online at http://www.summithumane.org and are due by May 29.

Christine Shock, director of community relations for the group, promises the chow line dinner fare will not resemble the military's infamous K Rations.

''We have an amazing chef who will be preparing the meals,'' Shock said.

The menu will include Chicken a la King or a vegetarian baked ziti, green salad and Apple Crumble a la Mode.

''You can't get any more American than that,'' Shock said.

A Marilyn Monroe impersonator will be among the entertainers and the Swing Machine band will provide the music. Guests are urged to dress casually or in military-inspired garb.

Portions of the proceeds from the event will be used to fund four cages set aside at the facility for two cats and two dogs. They will be reserved solely for animals of veterans or military personnel who can no longer care for their pets and need help to find good homes.

Conklin estimated the cost of the project to be about $10,000 annually.

As for the abandoned Rottweiler, Conklin said, that story had a happy ending.

Although the agency was able to contact the dog's owner with help from the American Red Cross, he did not respond to the message. Conklin said the dog was adopted by a loving family a few days after he was rescued.

Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or kantoniotti@thebeaconjournal.com.

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