Animal Coalition of Tahoe is trying to play its cards right to stop the overpopulation of domestic animals.
President of ACT Karen Kuentz, who also volunteers at the El Dorado County Animal Services shelter, said Sunday’s Mutt Strut poker run starting at the El Dorado County library South Lake Tahoe branch will benefit the organization’s animal spay and neuter program as well as the county’s shelter.
On the 1.3-mile route, people will pick up five cards while walking with their dogs, hoping to get the best poker suit. At the end of the poker run, there will be a party at Timber Cove with live music, giveaways, raffle drawings and a best dog tick competition.
Poker hands may be purchased for $10 each or three hands for $25, and parking is free in the South Lake Tahoe library branch parking lot, a press released stated.
The poker run will begin at the library sometime between 11 a.m. Sunday, and prizes will be awarded to those with the best hands, the release stated. The winner will receive a vacation week through Stardust timeshares.
The event will be open to all ages. Kuentz said the poker run is not a race; it’s more of a relaxed walk. People do not need to have prior knowledge of poker in order to participate. Cats are not allowed.
ACT’s main function is to help subsidize pet owners’ spay and neuter costs. People can submit an application to the organization and a $25 fee, take a voucher to a veterinarian who bills the organization for the rest. It typically can cost between $80 and $100, but they can cost as much as $120, ACT board member Rich Hodge said.
Kuentz said 90 percent of the event’s proceeds will go to the sterility program and 10 percent will go to the El Dorado County Animal Services shelter for general functions.
“We put on several fundraisers during the year, and there are local businesses that support us with prizes and donations and raffles,” Kuentz said. “The Mutt Strut is probably one of our bigger (events).”
ACT is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization with a four-person board, according to the organization’s website. Kuentz said they provide funding for dogs and cats services only.
She said ACT’s goal is to curtail the number of domestic animals from ending up in shelters.
“That’s the whole reason for helping locals … less unwanted puppies and kittens around,” she said.
El Dorado County animal control officers respond to everything from barking calls to more serious incidents, animal control officer Kyle Shumaker said.
The number of animals the shelter holds or receives in a day can vary, he said, but the shelter had a minimal amount of cats and a few dogs in its possession Friday.
For more information about the ACT spay and neuter program, visit www.tahoeanimals.org/spay.html.