Shelby Humane growling for the gridiron in ‘Bark Bowl’

Crikey, one of the adoptable pets at the Shelby Humane Society, served as a "color commentator" for the video of the Bark Bowl on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Crikey, one of the adoptable pets at the Shelby Humane Society, served as a “color commentator” for the video of the Bark Bowl on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA — Shelby Humane Society saw quite a few furry athletes Aug. 22, as the SHS played host to the “Bark Bowl,” an event hosted by Roverchase celebrating the work of the SHS staff as well as the gift of adopting a pet.

SHS executive director Sara Shirley said the idea came about as part of the group’s campaign in the ASPCA Rachel Ray $100k Challenge.

“It’s a national campaign,” she said. “Fifty shelters compete to do more adoptions than the previous June, July and August.”

The Bark Bowl came about as a means to boost the SHS in terms of the campaign’s community engagement award.

“Our mentality is if we can engage the community, the rest will follow,” he said. “That’s true whether we’re competing in a contest or not. (We) have to be creative to get the word out there.”

The event brought several of the shelter’s adoptable dogs to play a game of “football” in a play area outside the shelter. Two teams of three-to-four dogs were given bandanas based on color, and were allowed to run around the area chasing the football. Whichever team crossed the goalline the most times in the allotted time won.

Shirley said one of the goals of the event was to not only engage the community, but provide those in the community a chance to meet one of the dogs up for adoption.

In addition to the actual event, a video of the game was taken, complete with play-by-play to put on the SHS Facebook page to catch followers’ eyes.

“We have seen people really enjoy (videos), and they like the happy ones,” she said. “Videos are a great way (to reach people).”

Most importantly, Shirley said, the goal was to make people aware of the animals at the shelter.

“These are some good pets,” she said.

For more information on the SHS, visit Shelbyhumane.org.