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Dog Expo has its day

Longtime dog owners in the community showed off their pooches to raise money for spay and neutering funds on March 4 at the Redwood Acres.

The 31st annual fundraiser was organized by the Humboldt Dog Obedience Group, also known as HumDOG. The local non-profit was founded in 1978 and provides services to “encourage responsible dog ownership.”

The event presents an opportunity to meet with various dog breeds, share experiences and advice with fellow dog lovers and prospective dog owners.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Terri Lockett Memorial Spay/Neuter Fund. Lockett started the spay and neuter fund through HumDOG in 1995 and was known as “the spay and neuter queen” to her friends.

Tricia Morgan of Eureka said Lockett was passionate about the cause and worked to make spaying and neutering available to anyone.

“If someone didn’t have money, she would pay for it herself,” Morgan said.

Since Lockett’s death in 2005, Morgan and the HumDOG members have kept her dream alive. The organization hosts fundraisers, such as DogExpo, and receives funding from grants.

Morgan, who has now taken the title of “spay and neuter princess,” sported a tiara at the event and performed in multiple demonstrations along with her dog Shylo, a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever.

Numerous families approached the president of HumDOG, Marilyn Backman, and her two Shetland sheepdogs, Indy and Dunnigan.

“The training and classes we offer really isn’t for the dogs,” Backman said. “It’s more for the humans.”

Eureka citizen Sara Borok is a dog trainer and owner of Siberian Huskies Karma and Hildy, who race for the Northern Humboldt Sled Dog Team.

Karma (left) and her daughter Hildy. Photo by Lora Neshovska.

“We are an urban mushing team,” Borok said. “We sled even without snow.”

Dogs train up to months at a time prior to their first race. Karma, who is now 10 years old, led Borok on their first race at only nine months old.

“This is the first year we are going to have other breeds in the team,”

Anthony Rojas, a history student at Humboldt State University, is a dog fanatic and volunteers at the Sequoia Humane Society. Rojas, along with the society, took part in the Dog Expo on Sunday.

“It’s a no-kill shelter and I believe everyone deserves a second chance,” Rojas said. “I volunteer here because it’s important to raise awareness for adoption, spaying and neutering.”

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