Puppy Ice Cream Social featuring adoptable pets to be held June 10

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, June 1, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By EMILY SPARACINO | Special to the Reporter

CHELSEA – An event combining family fun with pet adoption opportunities is set to return for its fifth year this month.

Whiskers & Wags Pet Boutique will host its fifth annual Puppy Ice Cream Social on Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 16618 U.S. 280 in Chelsea.

“It’s gotten bigger every year,” Whiskers & Wags Pet Boutique owner Kim McCulla said. “In all the years we’ve done it, it is so much fun.”

The event will feature adoptable pets from multiple local rescues, including Peace, Love, and Dog Paws Rescue and Animal Assistance and Rescue Foundation (AARF).

McCulla said the adoptable pets will include some puppies, but many others will be long-term because adoptions for all organizations have been slow lately.

“Rescues and shelters are full as well,” McCulla said. “A lot of the pets that are coming are going to have been in foster care, not from a shelter.”

According to McCulla, a benefit of adopting a pet from foster care is that the animal will come with detailed information about its behavior and how it interacts with other dogs and children in a home environment, which will make it easier for someone to know whether that pet is going to be a good fit for them.

The adoption process will depend on each organization’s procedures. One rescue conducts onsite adoptions, while others will accept applications and follow up with home visits to ensure the pet and potential adoptee are the right fit for each other, McCulla said.

“They are trying to make sure this is one-and-done for the dog and that they are going to uproot that dog once,” McCulla said, and added that adoption fees are also based on each rescue.

Those who would like more information about fostering a pet may learn more about it at the Puppy Ice Cream Social, too.

“The rescues will be open to talking to people about fostering because that’s a huge need for everybody right now,” McCulla said. “Fostering is crucial, especially when the shelters are full.”

Fostering enables someone to get to know a dog in a home environment, creating a better chance for the dog to be placed in a permanent home only once.

“Fostering also frees up space at a shelter for another dog that’s not so lucky,” McCulla said. “It takes some of the burden off the shelters to have dogs in foster care.”

Proceeds collected from a silent auction to be held at the Puppy Ice Cream Social will be divided among the rescues that participate in the event.

“We started that last year,” McCulla said of the silent auction. “I’ve worked with my vendors. We will put together bundles of things, and people can come in and bid.”

Since the local rescues are smaller operations, they tend to rely on adoption events and donations from events like hers to support their efforts, McCulla said.

Snow cones will be available for human attendees, along with puppy ice cream for the pups.

The snow cones and puppy ice cream are free, but donations are welcome and also will go to the participating rescues for expenses such as transport and medical care for the adoptable pets.

“We take whatever we get and are grateful for it, and the rescues are over the moon for whatever amount they get,” McCulla said of the donations. “I think our bigger goal would be to have all of the pets who come have an adoption or an application in for them. If we had that, you would find me and all the rescues in tears. It would just be amazing.”

In addition, Dr. Scott Foster of Constant Companion Animal Hospital, located off U.S. 280 in The Narrows, will be onsite to check pets’ microchips in preparation for the July 4th holiday.

Specifically, McCulla said Foster will be able to check that the information connected to a pet’s microchip is up-to-date so that its owner can be contacted if the pet is found somewhere and needs to be returned home.

All leashed animals are welcome at the Puppy Ice Cream Social, which also will include vendors like Favorite Laundry, plus tent sales and specials from several local businesses.

To see photos and bios of the adoptable pets that will be at the event, visit Whiskers & Wags Pet Boutique on Facebook and Instagram.

“If people have not been (to the event), I would encourage them to come by,” McCulla said. “It’s just an absolute blast.”