On a hot summer day, some Normanites visit Rusty's Custard Factory to cool off. Saturday their dogs did, too.
Rusty's Custard Factory, on Main and Crawford, hosted its second Dog Days of Summer event from noon-5 p.m. Saturday to promote local animal rescues and businesses, which was also a fundraising event for Second Chance Animal Sanctuary. Canine Sports Academy, A1 Pet Emporium and Annie's Ruff House were also at Dog Days of Summer to support Second Chance and spread the word about the services they offer Norman.
Rusty Rasmussen, owner of Rusty's Custard Factory, said 20% of Saturday's proceeds went to Second Chance Animal Sanctuary. Rasmussen said he wants to try and give back as much as he can, but another reason he brought the event back is community involvement.
"Anytime you give the community the opportunity to get out and bring the entire family out it's a success," Rasmussen said. "Community involvement is amazing and it's needed and we can provide, so let's go for it."
Rasmussen said he saw about 50 dogs last year this year. About twice as many showed up for a tail wag and a pup cup Saturday. While planning the event, Second Chance reached out for fundraising, so Rasmussen incorporated it into the day.
"It turned out to be a great partnership," Rasmussen said. "I adopted my first two cats back in college from Second Chance and I have been a big supporter of their program for the last 30 years, and so I said yeah we will do a fundraiser."
The nonprofit organization Second Chance Animal Sanctuary is celebrating 30 years in Norman, and currently has 63 dog and cat rescues. All of their rescues are vetted and come from Norman area and neighboring cities animal shelters.
"My husband and I have rescued multiple times from Second Chance and there is something about a rescue dog," said Greta Watson-Pigg, board vice president for Second Chance Animal Sanctuary.
Watson-Pigg said this is their first year at Dog Days, and she i grateful for the fundraiser and the opportunity to inform the public about their services. Second Chance was giving out dog toys with donations, selling T-shirts, and handing out pamphlets about the shelter, adopting and fostering programs.
"[Dog Days of Summer] gets the word out. We have been here 30 years and there's still people that have been in Norman a long time, but just don't realize about Second Chance," Watson-Pigg said.
Amy Boaldin, president for Second Chance Animal Sanctuary, said since they don't receive funding from the city, the nonprofit relies on donations from the public. She said their adoption fees don't begin to cover the cost of operations.
Canine Sporting Academy, the largest indoor dog training facility in Oklahoma City, had a table with pamphlets, handouts and a duck pond prize game. Kathy Rasmussen, owner and training director said all of the proceeds from the game go to Second Chance as well.
Sereta Wilson, co-owner of Annie's Ruff House, came to support Second Chance and promote her doggy day care, rescue and boarding facilities. She said Annie's Ruff House is committed to being a community resource for keeping dogs out of rescue situations and out of the shelter through their doggy day care and boarding services.
A lot of pets get returned to the shelter, Wilson said, because they are purchased when they are a cute puppy, but then when they get older the owner has a harder time keeping up with the energy.
"Another option is to come to doggy daycare, because we can work off that energy," Wilson said. "We also offer training and we just recently did our kids camp so we are hoping to indoctrinate the next generation to proper pet care, because pets are cute and they're attractive and people want them."
As always Rusty's remains dog friendly, so companions were welcomed Saturday and received free pup cups. This was originally an adoption event as well, but due to the heat Second Chance Animal Sanctuary brought dogs out in rotation to visit, and adoptions were held at the sanctuary.
Summertime is a difficult time to have outdoor adoption events, but Watson-Pigg said Second Chance tries to hold monthly adoption events, and the shelter is open Wednesday-Saturday.
"[Dog Days of Summer] is just an afternoon event, but we are a dog friendly business and we have free pup cups anytime you bring your dog by," Rasmussen said. "They're welcome to make an ice cream run just like the rest of the family is."