Party like an animal at the Humane Society

Photo by Carlos Perez
2011-11-26 07-42-11.293 Party like an animal at the Humane Society

Darlene Pistocchi

Community Correspondent at Hollywood Gazette

Darlene is a professional writer, voice-over and performing arts specialist
2011-11-26 07-42-11.293 Party like an animal at the Humane Society

Looking for a birthday party idea that combines fun, giving to charity and adorable puppies? Well then, you’re barking up the right tree.

Humane Society of Broward County (HSBC) has long been known as a compassionate animal shelter and adoption agency for unwanted and stray animals, but how did birthday parties get added to their services?

“Parties came about after a parent from our Kids’ Club asked if they could have their child’s birthday at the shelter,” explains Katherine Tutt, Education Programs Coordinator for Humane Society of Broward County (HSBC). “That was nine years ago! After that, we just took off with the idea and birthday parties have been an activity at HSBC ever since.”

Birthday parties at the Humane Society are perfect for animal lovers of any age. “Parties are offered for ages 6 and up. We have had Sweet 16 parties, a 60th birthday and even an 80-year-old celebrated with us,” says Tutt.

Party guests arrive to a decorated party room with banners and balloons.

“There are three different party packages to choose from,” Tutt says. “All include a decorated party room, staff to run the party, a tour of the shelter, goody bags and cake!”

From there the packages differ from number of guests to food to number of activities.

The entire party is pet-themed; from the décor to the activities. Guests can choose from ‘party pups’ or cat-themed tableware.

Some of the more memorable parties Tutt recalls are with The Forever Family Bella Group, an organization providing loving foster care for children and teens.

“They have celebrated birthdays with us several times,” Tutt says. “At those parties we celebrate all the children, and it is a wonderful experience to have so many people from different walks of life come together and enjoy the animals.”

All birthday parties include a tour of the shelter. There are also gold and platinum collar parties available. With these, the birthday child chooses two activities from a list. These include:

  • Special Animal Guest – Enjoy hands-on time with some of the adorable shelter pets.
  • Pet Bowl Decorating – Choose a colored pet food bowl and decorate your own, whether it’s for a pet at home or the shelter animals.
  • No-Bake Dog Treats – Guests work in teams to making dog treats to feed shelter dogs during the tour.
  • Creative Clay – Each guest receives a clay packet from which they sculpt and decorate to make their favorite animal out of air dry clay.
  • Bandana Decorating – Guests choose a plain-color bandana and design it for a special dog.
  • Pet Tag – Using Shrinky Dinks, guests design their own pet I.D. tag.
  • Dog Breed Bingo – Guests play B-I-N-G-O for prizes.
  • Build-A-Pet (additional $10 per pet) – Guests choose and stuff a pet (dog, cat or rabbit) to take home. Included are an assortment of unstuffed plush pets, poly-fill to stuff them with and an adoption certificate.

What about adoptions?

Tutt says it isn’t an uncommon occurrence but doesn’t happen after every party.

“We do give the birthday child’s family a $50 adoption discount coupon that they or a friend can use,” Tutt says. “The coupon is valid for a year.”

People can book a party by calling Katherine Tutt directly at 954-266-6875, or by filling out a form on HSBC’s website under the Education Programs section: HumaneBroward.com. You can also follow them on FaceBook.

About Darlene Pistocchi

Community Correspondent at Hollywood Gazette Darlene is a professional writer, voice-over and performing arts specialist

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