HAYDEN — Medical care for our four-legged friends is costly.
The Kootenai Humane Society can't accept donations of pet medications and vaccinations. They have to be purchased new, which puts a squeeze on the nonprofit's finances.
"Medical is the biggest issue," said KHS development director Vicky Nelson. "Some people can't afford it and lots of times they'll surrender their dog to us. When people come to adopt, some people don't realize it's not just food you need."
To offset this expense, local humans with hearts for animals are hosting the Dog Days of Summer fundraiser at Rusty's in Hayden from 5 to 9 tonight.
The lighthearted celebration will take this serious issue and turn it into something joyous as guests enjoy free hot dogs and hamburgers, raffles with lots of prizes and the chance to throw pies at event co-organizer Dean Opsal for $20 a pie.
"I love dogs and this started as a joke last year, just as a spoof, an off-the-cuff kind of thing that wasn't planned and it blossomed into this," Opsal said. "If I can get 25 pies, I’ll saber a bottle of champagne with my sword on fire."
Dog Days of Summer will feature a car show with Lamborghinis, motorcycles and Corvettes as well as an appearance by the Deep Eddy Vodka vintage trailer — complete with Deep Eddy gals in 1950s garb.
"It's going to be fun," Opsal said. "I'm ready to eat some pie."
The goal is to raise at least $5,000 for meds that will be used to keep young animals healthy, spay and neuter adults and otherwise keep the shelter's occupants in shipshape until they find their forever homes.
"Our community is amazing. They love animals, they support us," Nelson said. "We’ve been here for 40 years. We wouldn't be here for 40 years without them."
Rusty's is located at 9205 N. Government Way.