Day for the dogs

GREENFIELD — Dressed in a sparkly turquoise tutu and adorned with a crown, Elsa was ready to find her forever home.

In Riley Park on Saturday, she rolled on the ground, gave kisses and greeted visitors, all while wearing a leash with a straightforward message: “Adopt me.”

A 3-year-old pit bull mix, Elsa was one of more than a dozen animals available for adoption at Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management’s fifth annual Dog Days of Summer event. The fundraiser, which benefits animal management, offers pet-related services to local families while giving animal advocacy groups a means to spread the word about their organizations.

Elsa is available for adoption through Ruts Rescue, an animal rescue based in Pittsboro. On Saturday, she had a foster family but was looking for a family who would make her one of its own.

Hundreds of area residents and their furry friends attended Saturday’s event, which offered low-cost rabies shots and microchipping, proceeds from which benefit animal management. It also brought together animal rescue groups, shelters and vendors.

Throughout the day, dogs and even a tortoise roamed the park, which was filled with treats, toys and even several small pools for the animals to cool off in. The event also featured food, a variety of vendors and activities for children.

Linda Carlton, one of the event’s organizers, said she was pleased with Saturday’s turnout and the warm, sunny weather.

“We just want people to come out and have a great time,” she said.

The shelter, which turns away no stray animals and is responsible for responding to all animal problems in the county, has a limited budget, so events like Saturday’s are important in helping keeping adoption costs low, Carlton said.

Funds raised help cover the cost of spaying and neutering, microchipping and keeping the animals in the shelter up-to-date on shots, she said.

“All the money that is raised here goes 100 percent to the animals,” she said.

The shots were $10, and microchipping was $15, a significant cost savings, Carlton said.

Four local veterinarians — including Kerry Suhr, who works for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health — donated time to give animals rabies shots.

Suhr said the event was a great opportunity for animal owners to get their dogs and cats vaccinated, which is required by state law, at a low cost.

“This is a great event, and I enjoy coming every year,” she said.

Animals also were able to get their nails clipped and flea treatments.

About 30 Indiana animal rescues and shelters came out, bringing with them pets available for adoption or fostering.

Mona McCloud of Spirit of the Cat Rescue in Anderson said her group had four cats adopted by early afternoon.

She comes to the event every year, and this year, she brought a half-dozen 6-week-old kittens that will be available for adoption in the next few weeks.

“We’ve had a good day,” she said. “I love this.”

Ilyse Hildebrand attended the event with her German short-haired pointers Siler and Brody, both rescues that now serve as therapy dogs.

It was the second time Hildebrand attended the event. She, Siler and Brody loved the opportunity to spend the day in the park.

“It’s a great event. It’s just great to get your dogs out and socialize them,” she said. “They enjoy being outside, and it gives them mental stimulation and all of that good stuff.”

Carlton said the event takes about a year to plan, but she’s happy to invest the time doing so — even after having retired from animal management last year. She planned to spend Sunday relaxing, giving herself a day off. But before long, she’ll be thinking of ways to make next year’s event an even bigger success than years past.

“It’s all for the animals,” she said. “I just love them.”

Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or