Helping keep animals fed
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-Hews June 4, 2012 2:42PM
Hollywood Casino bartender Angel Serrano (top right), hands cocktail server Carol Knoch (center) and bartender Michael McKinney (right) bags of dog food at the Will County Humane Society Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 24109 W. Seil Road in Shorewood.
How to help
What: Struttin for Strays
When: Saturday. 9 a.m. registration; 9:45 a.m. aerobic warm-up; 10 a.m. 5K begins; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. post-walk party.
Where: Lloyd Erickson Park, 500 N. Chicago St., Elwood
Contact: 815-741-0695 or visit www.willcountyhumane.com.
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:24AM
When Hollywood Casino in Joliet began serving beer in aluminum cans, cocktail server Carol Knoch of Plainfield thought, “Why not recycle the cans and use the proceeds for charity?”
The concept was, Knoch reasoned, not only environmentally sound, but a way to buy supplies for the Will County Humane Society in Shorewood, which Knoch and 27 other servers and 20 bartenders, all pet lovers, have personally supported for many years.
So for three weeks, after first obtaining permission for the project, they saved empty beer cans in separate containers. With the proceeds, they bought 55 pounds of dog food and 18 pounds of cat food, which they delivered May 29 to the Will County Humane Society.
“We’re always in need of food,” said Larry Ringbauer, shelter manager, “but we’re in special need now with all the puppies and kittens coming in. It really puts a strain on our supply. Their timing was perfect, just out of the blue like that.”
This is not the first time this group of employees have supported the Will County Humane Society. In 2009 when the former Empress Casino was undergoing repairs following a fire, casino employees were encouraged to use that time serving the community. Knoch and her co-workers chose the shelter.
“We liked that it was a no-kill shelter and that they performed strict background checks on adopters,” Knoch said. “That way, no unscrupulous people could adopt these innocent animals.”
For several weeks, Knoch and her co-workers repaired walls, painted, cut weeds and grass, cleaned cages, washed towels and walked dogs. They fell in love with the animals, and three employees adopted pets. So when Knoch presented her idea to shelter employees, they naturally were receptive.
On delivery day, Knoch found herself once again being drawn to the canine residents. One Siberian husky refused to let go of his “security blanket” rope, but Knoch gravitated toward the black Labrador puppy that resembles Libby, the 100-pound lab Knoch had adopted from the shelter five years ago.
“Libby is the most wonderful dog in the world,” Knoch said. “They had a hard time adopting her out because of her size, but she is so sweet and all personality. Someone has already applied for the puppy, but if he’s not adopted, I’ll be back for him.”
Would you like to help the Will County Humane Society but don’t know where to begin? Come out to Struttin for Strays 5K Walk on Saturday.
Dogs on leashes, as well as people on roller blades and pushing strollers are welcome to walk a wheelchair accessible course to raise money and awareness.