Wounded Minnow raising funds for Animal Service League

DOWAGIAC — On a Saturday night, most people just want to sit back and relax with good company and a good meal. This Saturday, one local business is hoping that Dowagiac residents will do that while also helping raise money for local animals.

Wounded Minnow Saloon, 236 S. Front St., Dowagiac, will host its third annual Dine for Dogs event from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 24. For the event, Wounded Minnow will donate 15 percent of all purchases to the Animal Service League, based in Cass County. Additionally, the Animal Service League will host a raffle and give away prizes at the event. Cash donations are also welcome at the event, according to event organizers.

“It’s just a good fundraiser,” said Kyle Belew, owner of the Wounded Minnow Saloon. “It’s for a good cause. It’s a great local cause, and all the money stays local.”

The Animal Service League is an organized group of volunteer members dedicated to issues of animal welfare based in Cass County. The purpose of the organization is to help improve the quality of life of all animals in need in the Michiana area and to promote the education of its citizens with reference to the animals’ humane care and treatment, according to the group’s website.

The money raised from the Dine for Dogs event will benefit homeless and in need animals, with one of the main uses of the money being helping pet owners afford spay/neuter services, said Joan Belew, a volunteer with the Animal Service League and Kyle’s mother.

“Spay/neuter is so important. It’s a problem with too many dogs,” she said. “We just want animals to be loved and well taken care of. We do the most that we can with what we have.”

Each year, the Dine for Dogs event raises around $500, according to both Kyle and Joan.

To Joan, each dollar raised helps the community both by taking care of local animals and by keeping animal overpopulation numbers down by promoting spay/neuter.

Kyle said that he is happy to help out his mother and the Animal Service League, not only because his mother helped start the organization, but because he is a pet owner himself.

“I grew up with my mother raising thousands of dollars for this organization, and now I want to help out,” he said. “I love my animals. … I understand the need for people to help care for the animals in our community and for spay/neuter services.”

Both Kyle and Joan said they hope that the community will turn up for the Dine for Dogs event or donate to the Animal Service League.

“It’s great to get the community together to do something good,” Joan said. “It’s good to create awareness about helping the animals here in Cass County.”

If members of the public are unable to attend Saturday’s event, they can donate money or pet supplies at the Wounded Minnow at any time.

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