By Stefanie Donahue
In an effort to improve the lives of veterans across the nation, owners of Birch Bay dog boutique Bow Wow & Woofs are hosting a fundraiser to support Puppy Rescue Mission, a charity dedicated to rescuing and re-homing stray dogs of war.
Bow Wow & Woofs’ second annual Barbeque and Yappy Hour will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 17 at Peace Arch Park. All proceeds will go to the Puppy Rescue Mission.
Anna Cannan, a wife of an Afghanistan veteran, founded Puppy Rescue Mission in 2011 in an effort to reconnect service members with the dogs of war they bond with overseas. Military “battle buddies,” as the dogs are often called, help to improve life on the battlefield. Often, for service men and women, it’s hard to leave their partner behind.
“The service members save these dogs from a short life filled with dog fighting and other abuse, and in return, these dogs fill an emotional need for a sense of home and normalcy,” according to a statement released on behalf of the organization. “Simply put, these ‘battle buddies’ make our service members’ lives better while serving our country.”
Bow Wow & Woofs owner Heather Campbell was first introduced to the organization in 2016, when a serviceman by the name of Eric visited the shop with his dogs, Kumar and Toast. According to Campbell, Eric met Kumar while he was deployed in Afghanistan. He was able to offer him a home in the U.S. thanks to Puppy Rescue Mission. Since then, Campbell has continued to support and promote the charity.
Last March, Iraq war veteran Troy Hodges stopped by the shop in search of a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) support animal, Campbell said. Soon after, she reached out to Puppy Rescue Mission and they were able to connect him with a dog named Turk Mackenzie. The pup was flown from Istanbul to Washington, D.C. and later transported to Hodges by Puppy Rescue Mission volunteers Christine Dewson and Kaydee Johannson.
“As a Puppy Rescue Mission volunteer, this is the reason we are constantly raising funds,” Campbell said. “There are now two Puppy Rescue Mission dogs in Whatcom County. The first is Lucky, who our fundraiser paid off last year.”
The upcoming Barbeque and Yappy Hour is open to all, including pets, and features a blessing of the animals ceremony, live music, barbeque catered by Hilltop Catering, beer garden catered by Boundary Bay Brewery, pet prizes and silent and live auctions.
This year, a Seahawks Legends autographed helmet and a Joshua Tree record signed by U2 is up for grabs at the auction. Items also include one year’s worth of dog food from Acana, Nature’s Logic, Open Farm, Nutri-Source or
Farmina and more.
Cannan will be in attendance as well as multiple service members who have rescued dogs through the charity. The cost to attend is $15, which includes a catered lunch.
Bow Wow & Woofs is a family-owned business located at 8115 Birch Bay Square in suite 111. The shop carries a large selection of food for cats and dogs as well as apparel, supplements, toys and more.