K9s at the Ville will be hosting their second annual “Dig In” event on Monday, Nov. 24. The event provides a chance for students to support a great cause, while also enjoying home cooked food donated by various professors. The goal of the event is to raise both awareness and funds for 4 Paws for Ability, the organization K9s at the Ville partners with.
“The org provides a unique opportunity to students because we are one of the few groups that partners directly with an outside organization,” K9s at the Ville president Laura Hinckley said.
4 Paws, as it is affectionally called by supporters, has its main headquarters in Xenia. Due to the proximity to campus, the Cedarville org is able to volunteer several days a week at the 4 Paws facilities.
Hinckley explained that during the week org members go to the “puppy house” to play with and help socialize the puppies. The org also helps out on the weekend with the adult dogs, performing tasks such as bathing and exercising the dogs.
While the time students devote each week to the organization is crucial to keeping 4 Paws running, monetary donations are also needed. Events coordinator Katie Gunter explained that because of a recent land purchase, 4 Paws is hoping to expand. There is a possibility that the money raised from Monday’s event will go directly towards the expansion.
“The money we raise will either go to one of two places,” Gunter said. “Building a dog run area for the dogs to play in or sponsoring a family to stay in the area during the initial training time with their dog.”
The goal of the dinner is to raise at least $700, but Gunter said she hopes they surpass that amount. Special guests at the event include members of the 4 Paws community as well as some guests of the four-legged variety. Speaking at the event will be a local family who currently has a service dog in their home.
Hearing a first-hand account of someone effected directly by 4 Paws’ work is one of the highlights of the event, according to Hinckley. She said the family who spoke last year really encouraged her by reminding her that their efforts were not in vain.
“4 Paws puts a lot of time and effort into training these dogs and we only get to see a part of it,” Hinckley said. “To see the way that these dogs impact the kids is really amazing.”
Senior Kat Ward is currently serving as a foster parent for Kelcy, a popular golden retriever on campus.
“It’s incredible to think that I am helping train a hero,” Ward said. “Everyone is just a person, we all have needs, and some people just happen to need a dog.”
Individuals with special needs are not the only ones who benefit from the services of 4 Paws, Hinckley said. Students do as well. Hinckley said that on Dec. 9 from 1-3 p.m., 4 Paws will provide a much needed stress-reliever by bringing puppies on campus for students to interact with.
The org is now asking the student body to help them so they can continue to support 4 Paws. Tickets for the “Dig In” event will be available at the door, for $7 per person or $45 for a table which seats eight people. The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the SSC event rooms. Students unable to attend who would still like to support the org should watch for a canine-themed basketball night that will take place sometime in January.
Taylor Hobbs is a freshman psychology major and reporter for Cedars. She enjoys stereotypical Canadian things like saying “Eh” and watching hockey.