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Proceeds from calendar sales go to the dogs

GREENFIELD — Area dog lovers will be able to mark the days of 2014 while staring at the faces of more than a dozen dogs, which have either been reunited with their families or adopted into new ones.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter is selling calendars to raise money for operating costs of the shelter.

Joanne Brown, volunteer photographer for the shelter, said the calendar not only offers three photographs of former shelter dogs each month, but also tips and reminders, like “Exercise and get fit with your pet,” and “Don’t leave your pets in the car,” on hot days.

Brown said she began volunteering for the shelter just five weeks ago.

“We came up with the idea for a calendar and I started taking pictures right away,” said Brown, who now has her own pet photography business, because she enjoyed the experience so much.

She said 100 percent of the proceeds from calendar sales will go to the dogs.

Brown said the sheriff’s office printed the calendars and absorbed the cost.

“The dog shelter has only two paid positions — one full-time and one part-time,” said Brown. “It relies heavily on donations and volunteer time.”

She said the shelter currently has 36 volunteers helping care for the dogs.

The shelter at 10 Sandy Lane in Turners Falls is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, and also by appointment.

“All of the dogs in the calendar were shelter dogs and they’ve all gone to forever homes,” said Brown, who said the calendar cost is $10.

She said currently the only way to get a calendar is to visit the shelter or call 413-676-9182 and reserve one or more.

“We’re hoping to make this an annual fundraiser,” said Brown.

There are currently 14 towns contracted with the shelter (Montague, Greenfield, Conway, Whately, Wendell, Deerfield, Gill, Erving, Buckland, Colrain, Bernardston, Warwick, Heath and Rowe).

Before they are adopted, all dogs are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and spend some time with a trainer.

Sheriff Christopher Donelan paved the way for the shelter by implementing the program and obtaining a $20,000 grant, which was used to convert an old town building into the working shelter.

For several months, inmates from the Franklin County jail worked to turn the empty storage building into the facility it is today, which includes a covered kennel, utility room, bathing area, office and outside play areas.

Three hundred dogs ended up at the shelter this year and most were reunited with owners, while 80 found new homes.

For more information about the calendars or the shelter, call 413-676-9182.

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