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Volunteers to spend a Day in Their Paws

Posted: October 28, 2010 7:44 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Paige Gilkerson, of Saugus, and her friend Jenna will sit with Barry White and KissyMe.

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Ever wonder what the life of a shelter dog is like? Volunteers of The Brittany Foundation, a no-kill dog rescue in Agua Dulce, will find out during a Day in Their Paws on Nov. 6 and 7.

For up to 24 hours, volunteers will live in a kennel with the homeless dog of their choice to raise awareness of how shelter dogs live day after day, taking breaks only to eat and use the restroom. The kenneled volunteers will raise money for the non-profit organization by having sponsors buy their freedom at $1 per minute. All donations to The Brittany Foundation are tax-deductible.

Paige Gilkerson, 12, of Saugus, will sit with Barry White and KissyMe, two small dogs awaiting adoption, while her mother, Karla, chaperones. “I think this will be a great experience and a great opportunity to help raise money for the dogs, because I love to help them in any way I can,” she said.

For volunteer Vanessa Visket, of Acton, the event offers a chance to spend quality time with Zorra, one of her favorite dogs at the ranch, as well as learn something new.

“I’d like to see for myself how the dogs live every day, sleeping at night in any weather conditions,” she said. “For once, Zorra will have a night to cuddle with someone and get the love and attention she deserves.”

The Brittany Foundation will simultaneously host an open house from noon to 4 p.m. on Nov. 6, so that the public can tour the sanctuary and meet their adoptable dogs.

The open house will feature boutique vendors, silent auction and raffle, refreshments from Margo’s Bark Root Beer, gourmet sandwich wraps from chef Stefan Niemczyk and a bake sale featuring treats from Babe’s Dessert Bar, to raise funds for The Brittany Foundation.

Long-time Brittany Foundation volunteer and board member Rene Ruston will bunk with Candy, a 10-year-old pit bull who suffers from bone cancer.

“Some of our dogs have been waiting years to be adopted and spend most of their time in a 12-foot-by-12-foot kennel,” said Ruston. “While they have a forever home here, we want people to see how limited their lives are without a family to spend it with.”

Author Michelle Sathe, a Brittany Foundation board member, is set to share a kennel with Queenie, a 10-year old pit bull. She’ll also  sign copies of her newly released book, “Pit Stops: Crossing the Country with Loren the Rescue Bully,” with a portion of sales benefitting the rescue.

Founder Nancy Anderson started the nonprofit Brittany Foundation in 1991 and has since placed 1,700 dogs, many of which had been pulled from death row at county shelters or puppy mills across Los Angeles. She hopes the public will be especially receptive to this year’s Day In Their Paws, as donations and adoptions have been drastically reduced due to the rough economic climate.

“Every dog we adopt out creates a space for another dog we can save. If you’re not looking to adopt, you can still lend a hand by sponsoring a volunteer or coming by the open house,” she said.

To sponsor a volunteer for Day In Their Paws visit www.brittanyfoundation.com. “Day In Their Paws” Open House, Saturday, Nov. 6, noon to 4 p.m. Corner of Sierra Highway and Anthony Road, Agua Dulce, 91390.  Follow signs to sanctuary. For more information, call (661) 713-5240 or e-mail brittany_dogs@yahoo.com.

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