Riverside Lanes in Colusa was packed to the brim on Friday with people who believe in the work of Friends of the Colusa County Animal Shelter.
Bowlers participating in the sixth annual “Pins for Paws” fundraiser said it is compassion for all kinds of animals that brought them out for the FOCCAS event.
“We like our pets, and it’s such a good cause,” said Marilyn Wishnewitz, of Colusa, a bowler with Team Dog-eared.
FOCCAS is a nonprofit organization that started in 2004 to address unsafe and unsanitary conditions in the county animal shelter. The all-volunteer group assists the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office to increase pet adoptions through outreach programs, provide community education about animal care, bring improvements to the shelter, and reduce the number of animals euthanized by having vigorous adoption and spay/neuter programs.
Lynda Silk, Riverside Lanes owner, said this year’s participation in the fundraiser was the highest it’s been since inception.
“We had 10 teams signed up but we could have easily made 12, as several teams had extra members,” she said.
The event included raffle prizes donated by Colusa County’s individuals and businesses, and bowlers and spectators were generous in purchasing tickets.
“It’s awesome,” Silk said. “We even had teams from Yuba City. Everyone has been very generous in supporting FOCCAS.”
Bowler Susie Coletti said Pins for Paws also provides a great opportunity to just get out on a Friday night and do something fun and worthwhile.
“The camaraderie is great,” said Susie Coletti. “Just being here with friends and having a good, fun time.”
Pam Dagrossa, an animal control officer and FOCCAS volunteer, said fundraisers are necessary in order to generate money for costs at the shelter that the county does not cover, including vaccinations for the dogs, transport for medical care, transport to UC Davis for spay and neuter – typically available at no or low cost – and other needed equipment and supplies.
She said she was very pleased with this year’s turnout.
“There are a lot of people who love animals in Colusa County that come out to support FOCCAS events to raise money for the animals,” Dagrossa said.
FOCCAS holds several events during the year, but Pins for Paws greatly helps with expenses FOCCAS struggles to cover, such as costly medical care for animals.
“An x-ray can cost $100, and an x-ray is sometimes required before we can send a dog to get medical treatment,” Dagrossa said.
One of FOCCAS’ primary goals is also to raise awareness of the shelter, and that animals housed there are in need of forever homes. The shelter has about 10 animals available for adoption now.
“Come look at the shelter if you are looking for a pet,” Dagrossa said. “There are some incredibly high quality animals we get in sometimes, and they make amazing pets.
Dagrossa added that shelter dogs become wonderful family members because they seem to be eternally grateful when people adopt them.
“When you adopt an animal from a shelter, it saves two lives: it saves the life of the dog you adopt and the dog that you make space for when your dog is gone,” she said. ■