Santa was a little late, but the jolly old elf didn’t overlook the several dozen shelter dogs at the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.
Santa and Mrs. Claus, aka Mike and Maria Ochs of Bahati and Frey’s Place dog daycare and training center in Dayton, brought special meals and hand-filled treat toys Friday to the approximately 85 homeless pooches at the ARC at 6790 Webster St. in Dayton.
The purpose of the dinners and treats is “to give the animals a unique enrichment and experience,” said Maria Ochs, “and just to bring warmth to the shelters.”
ARC Director Robert Gruhl said it is important to provide the dogs with an opportunity for enrichment and called Bahati and Frey’s Place a wonderful partner.
“It is something that is a phenomenal way to show recognition to these poor animals,” he said.
It took hours to make the holiday meals and fill Kong toys with treats, and also create DIY “apple Kongs” that are cored apples with filling.
The dinners consisted of turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots peas, oat and peanut butter cookies, acorn squash and blueberries, in addition to pumpkin cupcakes and “apple Kongs.” The dinner was postponed from last week due to the winter storm.
Ochs said she used her club’s Christmas bonuses to buy the supplies, and that some clients also contributed.
“These poor animals that have been here, they’re just looking for a wonderful home and this is just such a nice treat for them,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge. “Since I’ve been here I’ve already seen two or three families with big smiles on their faces walk out with brand new dogs.”