FULTON, NY – Gale Waas has been doing what she loves for more than 35 years.
She started showing dogs in the 1970s.
She and her husband now own Happy Tails K-9 Training and Agility Center at 1500 County Route 8 in Fulton.
Waas’ passion for animals doesn’t end when she locks the gate to the training area.
On Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. at Happy Tails, Waas and the local SPCA will be hosting a Pet Adoption Day.
“We welcome anybody, bring your dogs,” said Waas. “We do a pet costume parade, and best look-alike.”
The event is a family affair and everyone is invited – even dogs are welcome.
There will be activities set up for kids to participate in, contests, food, and much more.
At the heart of the day is the fact that there are animals in Oswego County that need help.
“Local dog and cat organizations are always trying to raise money for the animals veterinary and food costs,” said Waas.
Donations will be accepted at the event, whether cash, food, cat box filler, or blankets to help out the sponsors.
All of the proceeds will go directly to the SPCA.
“I’m hoping we have a good turnout for this one,” said Waas.
This is the second adoption event Happy Tails will host.
There will be animals up for adoption at the event.
According to Waas there are several cats that need new homes and a few dogs as well.
“There are a lot of cats badly in need of adoption,” said Waas. “We keep the cats inside our building, so anybody can go in and check out a cat, and hold it.”
Most of the dogs up for adoption won’t be at the event, as rescue dogs can sometimes be uncomfortable in large crowds, she explained.
“They’ll send pictures along with a little bio of the animal,” said Waas. “So anyone interested in adopting a dog will be able to read about its demeanor and talk to representatives so they know the dog fits into their home life.”
“We adopted quite a few last year,” Waas added.
Happy Tails also offers a discount to anyone who adopts a rescue dog and wants to learn how to better handle a rescue or wants to dog to go through basic obedience.
“I actually got started in 1996. I got a pound puppy and joined a dog club: Snow Valley Dog Club,” she said.
She went on many open matches and achieved many awards/ribbons. Out of a possible 200 points, her lowest was 197 and highest was 199.5.
She was asked to become a trainer. And, when the club broke up, she decided to continue.
“Through the years, I rented a place in Fulton, and also got hired as an outside contractor for Scriba Town. I was with them for 15 years until they dropped the program two years ago,” she said. “And then I got our present place at 1500 County Route 8. I also not only my own dogs (two golden retrievers) I train and also showed dogs.”
She knew her calling was working with dogs.
She has worked with search and rescue, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, is also an obedience judge and is a certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.
She is involved with her local and with other towns/cities veterinarians.
“They all know me and send many dogs my way with major and not so major issues and aggressions,” she said. “So, to date, I have been doing what I love for 40 years and still going strong, with no plans on stopping.”
To find out more about Sunday’s event and Happy Tails check them out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/happytailsk9training&agilitycenter) or go to http://happytailsk9training.com/
Steve Yablonski contributed information to this report.