Tickets for MVAS Puppy Party II on Sept. 7 going fast

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Mission Valley Animal Shelter dog care giver Dale Wilkerson holds Sven, a lovable 4-year-old mixed breed that was available for adoption last week. Given Sven’s temperament, it was not long before he was adopted into a loving home. (Joe Sova/Lake County Leader)

If you’re thinking about going to Puppy Party II on the first Friday of September and you don’t yet have tickets, don’t wait until the last minute. It won’t be long before all 200 tickets to the Mission Valley Animal Shelter event will be sold out.

Puppy Party II is set for Friday, Sept. 7 at the Red Lion Inn in Polson, beginning at 6 p.m. and going until about 10 p.m.

Dinner will be catered by Finley Point Grill and is bound to provide everyone with a delicious meal. Tickets to Puppy Party II are $50 per person.

There will be more than 100 silent auction items as well as 15 to 20 live auction items that include a Jamaica vacation, a Whitefish ski package, a handmade cedar kayak, auto services package, a 14-foot tipi, a Glacier National Park package, valuable art, scenic flights and much more.

FILIP PANUSZ, executive director of MVAS, is encouraging donation of items — since the more they have to offer the more funds can be raised to go toward making the new Puppy Addition at MVAS a reality.

“We’re accepting certificates for services and big-ticket items,” Panusz said.

“Dream big because there is one big thing we want to accomplish.” That is keeping the animal shelter — the only one in Lake County — operational. “It’s a powerful way to leave a lasting legacy.”

MVAS will take donations for the silent and live auctions up to Thursday, Sept. 6 — the day before the event. Call Panusz at 406-207-9374 to make a donation for Puppy Party II.

At Puppy Party I last September, a photo shoot raised $1,300, with 13 people paying $100 each.

Panusz wants to do a “Spay-Neuter Matchathon,” where sponsors are matched up with people who would like to get their dog neutered or spayed, but cannot afford to do so. Certificates are $40 each, so if you would like to sponsor a spayed or neutered dog, call MVAS as soon as possible.

“We’ve opened the application process,” Panusz said. “People just need evidence of financial need and to bring in a picture of their dog.”

Are you interested in adopting a dog or cat from MVAS? To learn more about the MVAS adoption process, go online to

That would certainly help with the overpopulation situation. And that would allow Panusz and his caring staff an opportunity to handle more “stray” dogs.

DALE WILKERSON is the full-time “dog care giver” at MVAS. He’s been on board at the shelter for about two years.

“I adore dogs. I’m the dog guy,” he said last week. “They come in emaciated (skin and bones and underfed).” Wilkerson nourishes them back to good health.

Dogs adopted from MVAS have been given such names as Smurf, Boogie, Ringo, Elvis, Picasso, Paprika, Snowdrift and Bonkers.

It’s important to note that all adopted dogs coming out of MVAS are either spayed or neutered. That cost is passed on to persons adopting the dogs, and all dogs have microchips placed under their skin.

THE FIRST Puppy Party raised about $40,000 last year, primarily through the live and silent auctions. With the generosity of Lake County residents, this year’s event could provide even more financial support for the animal shelter.

You are invited to “roll up your sleeves” and “save more lives,” since your animal shelter needs you.

To make a donation for Puppy Party II, call Panusz at 406-207-9374.

To learn more about the MVAS adoption process, go online to

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