An evening with the pups

Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2016


Nell Haigh began her animal journey at age 4 with goats sucking on her pigtails. She is mom to 5 rescue dogs and 1 rescue kitty.

The Humane Society of Pike County kicked off  “Be Kind to Animals Week” May 1-7 by hosting a Blessing of the Animals event and a Pet Parade around the square in downtown Troy on Saturday.

As fantastic as the celebration kickoff was and, as much fun as it was, it was upstaged a bit with the HSPC’s culminating event, “An Evening with the Pups” Thursday night at Cattleman Park.


Addison Copeland, center, gets kisses from Meme as Maryland looks on. Kendyll Wesley holds on to Maryland.

Donna Brockmann, HSPC president, said she didn’t know who had more fun, the “pups” or their best friends.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“But I know who got the most hugs and kisses,” Brockmann said as she gave a big bear hug to a rescue pup, named Meme. “This was our first ‘Evening with the Pups’ but it won’t be our last. It was a wonderful event and we had so much fun planning it and carrying it out. This year is the 101st anniversary of ‘Be Kind to Animals Week’ so we borrowed a polka dot idea from ‘101 Dalmatians’ and it worked so well.”


Jack Rainey, left, and Rick Stetson model the ‘Be kind to animals’ t-shirts.

“An Evening with the Pups” was a fundraiser for the HSPC, which funds spay and neuter programs in the county. The local human society also has a feral cat program and is a partner in the Pike Animal Shelter project.

However, Brockmann said the idea behind the “Be Kind to Animals Week” events was to celebrate the roles that pets play in the lives of their owners.

“Pets are a part of their families and we wanted to celebrate the relationships between pets and their owners,” Brockmann said. “And we wanted to showcase rescued pups and how they make wonderful, loving pets.”


Tabitha Adkins spoke to the group about her service dog, Rugby.

“An Evening with the Pups” featured a pet parade emceed by Rick Stetson that included Meme and Marilyn, 10-weeks old pups.

“Precious Paws rescued their mama from the pound right before she gave birth to the pups,” Stetson said.

Mufasa, a 13-year-old “young” chow mix was the oldest pup in the parade. But he held his own with the younger pets on parade. “Mufasa has lived at Precious Paws Sanctuary for more than a year.


Hallee Dix is a volunteer with Precious Paws Sanctuary with the “young” chow, Mufasa.

Bandit, the HSPC 2016 Calendar Cover Pet took his final walk at “An Evening with the Pups” but, if Bandit and his owner, Steve Stokes, have anything to say about it, Bandit just might not be ready to give up his celebrity, just yet, Stetson said.

A couple of specially trained dogs made appearances at “An Evening with the Pups.” Rugby, Tabatha Adkins’ service dog and Ista, the Troy Police Department’s bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois, took center stage following the pet parade.

Adkins explained that Rugby, an eight-year-old lab, has been with her for five years. She was diagnosed with spina bifida when she was nine years old.


Emma Grantham is a Troy University student majoring in exercise science, she volunteered for the pet parade.

“Rugby is my ‘walking cane,’” Adkins explained. “He can go with me anywhere. I cannot be put out of a public place because he is with me, not even a restaurant, unless I cannot manage him.”

Troy Police Officer William Routon said Ista has been trained to sniff out explosives and, together, they have a lot of work to do.

“We clear the stadium before football games and Trojan Arena before games and events to make sure there are no explosives there,” Routon said. “We always clear the courtroom before court convenes.”

Stetson thanked everyone for their attendance at the HSPC’s first “Evening with the Pups” and for making it such a great success. He encouraged everyone to “Be Kind to Animals,” not just this week “but every day and every week of the year.”