Beverly and Forbes Duncan make gifts for dogs, with proceeds benefiting Curry County Animal Shelter. The Pilot/Jane Stebbins
Forbes and Beverly Duncan hope to bring a lot of holiday cheer to visitors at the Christmas Bazaar – and to the scores of dogs that Pennies for Pooches help at the Gold Beach Animal Shelter each year.
The Duncans serve as the fundraising arm of the nonprofit organization; this will be the group’s first time at the annual holiday bazaar in Brookings, which takes place Nov. 10 at Kalmiopsis Elementary and Azalea Middle schools.
“We love animals; we are animal fanatics,” Forbes said. “We knew (shelter supervisor) Catherine (Powers) needed help because they were going nonprofit, so we stepped forward to help.”
The shelter has been under the auspices of the county government until this summer, when belt-tightening forced county commissioners to turn some departments over to non-profit agencies. The shelter officially went nonprofit Sept. 1.
That’s when the Duncans thought they could get more involved.
“Whatever fundraisers there are, we get in contact with them,” he added. “Anything we see, we’re going to do it for the cause.”
The facility also strives to be a no-kill shelter. Only animals too ill, aggressive or severely injured are euthanized and, if over-crowding becomes a problem, dogs are taken to Medford or Portland where they might stand a better chance of being adopted.
The group most recently received a shipment of 10 dogs – five arriving by plane – from a shelter in Contra Costa, Calif., that has a high rate of euthanasia. Eight of those dogs have been adopted.
He and Beverly rescued their three dogs – miniature poodles Wally and Floyd and silky terrier Bridget – when they arrived from other shelters.
“She was going to be put down,” he said of Bridget. “They pulled her for us, and we rescued her.”
The shelter is run by two people and is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There, animals are wormed, spayed, neutered, inoculated and otherwise taken care of – all of which can add up to serious expenses.
Money comes from license fees, adoptions, donations and fundraisers, including a dog wash and the Harvest at the Harbor apple cobbler competition that premiered last weekend at the Port of Brookings Harbor.
The event raised $480 and attracted hundreds of people.
That support and enthusiasm makes the Duncans want to work even harder.
They have been working with various individuals and groups to stockpile hand-knitted scarves, pillows, magnets, soaps, blankets, earrings and other items for the holiday bazaar. A couple from Idaho even brought over a truckload of dog beds they’ve contributed to the cause.
Forbes said the donors likely heard about the organization on Facebook, whose site he and his wife keep updated and have been successful in reuniting owners and dogs.
Whatever is not sold at the bazaar will be used at the shelter.
“We’re just helping the animals,” Forbes said with a smile. “That’s our love and compassion; for the animals. Without us, a lot of them would be destroyed. We’re their voices. It’s not about us. It’s about Pennies. That’s where our hearts are.”