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BARKer Shop trying to ‘Stuff the Kennel’

Author M.K. Clinton once said, “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”

The BARKer Shop pet grooming at 923 S. Third St. in Ironton has partnered with Ashland-based rescue group TriState K9 Lifeline for its “Stuff the Kennel” campaign to get food, collars, leashes, treats and toys for dogs this Christmas.

“The name basically says it all,” Tony Barker, owner of the BARKer shop, said. “We have a dog kennel at our shop from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and we are trying to fill it with as many donations as possible.”

Donations are steadily coming in, Barker said, and he admits the response from the community has been good, especially since it’s first time the BARKer Shop has participated in the “Stuff the Kennel” campaign.

“The best part about it is we know that a dog who used to have a home and is now a rescue dog will get a new tennis ball for maybe the first time in years,” he said. “Sometimes something as simple as a new toy can mean so much to a dog.”

The kennel being at the BARKer shop has also been advantageous.

“People who care about their pet’s grooming obviously care about their pet,” he said. “If they care about their own pet they tend to care a lot about animals in general. Most people are more than happy to donate something for this cause.”

TriState K9 Lifeline assists rescues and shelters on Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia by pulling, fostering, networking and transporting shelter dogs in need.

Missy Howard, owner of Dawg Dynasty pet boarding in Ashland and fundraising director for TriState K9 Lifeline, said she takes her dog, Wyatt, to the BARKer Shop and while there the conversation came up about “Stuff the Kennel.”

“This time of the year it seems people take more dogs to shelters,” she said. “We try to do things to help last-chance animals in the area. We are pleased to have such a great response so far at the BARKer Shop.”

Donations for the kennel will be taken until Christmas.