Annual doggy birthday celebration raises funds for animal shelter

One local pup’s birthday celebration raised more than $2,600 for Shelton’s animal shelter in both monetary and food donations on Monday, Oct. 16.

After a birthday celebration that was attended by nearly 90 people, Kinzy Yolish’s friends and family donated bags of dog food, toys and money to be used to pay for the animal shelter’s ongoing medical expenses.

“We’re very thankful for this donation every year,” said Shelton’s animal control supervisor, Leon Sylvester. “[Kathy Yolish] gives the money directly to our vet. It’s basically just a credit on our vet bills. We could go through $100,000 if we had it, but we count on this money coming in during the last quarter of the year to help take care of any new animals that come in that need surgeries or treatments.”

As the Yolish family celebrated 12 years since Kinzie came into their lives, they were also celebrating the more than $15,000 they’ve raised collectively over the span of 10 parties/fund-raisers they’ve organized. The event has also garnered more than $6,000 worth of food.

“She’s still my favorite little girl,” said Kathy Yolish. “We’re very blessed to have so many family members and loved ones come together to celebrate and show support for the animal shelter. Kinzy is love. She’s unconditional love. When you have a tough or good day, she’s there.”

Yolish compared her furry little daughter to a caramel ice cream sundae because of the effect her personality has on people she meets.

“Her complexion is that of caramel and she’ll melt your heart like ice cream,” said Yolish as she reflected on the first time she celebrated Kinzy’s birthday.

The tradition came to pass because her co-workers were having bridal and baby showers.

“I was jealous, so my co-workers threw me a shower for Kinzy!” said Yolish. “Now we’re here and we’re thankful that it’s gotten bigger every year.”

Considering that Shelton’s animal shelter legally cannot take on any volunteers, Sylvester said, the biggest contribution residents can make aside from their other donations is just to be responsible pet owners.

Sylvester said that since “kitten season” lasted approximately two months longer than usual, the shelter is in need of kitty litter and dry and wet cat food.