Henrico County VA
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Expo: Pet fun, funds

Annual event benefits Henrico Humane Society
Jonsie
Remember where you were on Christmas Eve?

With any luck, you were enjoying the company of family and friends at a meal, carol-singing or other get-together, or attending prayer or worship services. But even if you were stuck at the mall doing last-minute shopping, you had a better Christmas Eve than Stripey the cat.

Stripey was found Dec. 24 suffering from what were later diagnosed as chemical burns from acid.

Transferred from the emergency veterinarian to a Henrico Humane Society (HHS) vet, she underwent surgery to have her tail amputated and a portion of her rear end removed – necessary to her survival because so much tissue had died. To close the wound, the vet also had to utilize skin grafting and extensive laser treatments.

Thanks to Henrico Humane Society volunteers, who visited Stripey often in the days following surgery, the severely injured cat (now known as Flower) is in the final stages of recovery at a foster home. Within a few weeks, she should be spayed, vaccinated, and available for adoption.

Days were numbered
Among other special-needs pets lucky enough to land in HHS foster homes recently are Jonsie the dog and puppies Matilda and Obiwan. When the mother of Matilda and Obiwan was hit by a car and killed, the puppies were still so young that they had to be bottle-fed around the clock.

"Regular feedings throughout the night and day will wear anyone down," says Janie Severance of HHS. "Luckily we have volunteers that love the puppies, and every-two-hour feedings are right up their alley."

Additional puppies in the litter were farmed out to Odessa Rescue, part of the network of other humane organizations and shelters with which HHS collaborates. Jonsie the dog, in fact, was rescued from a Charles City shelter a mere day before he was scheduled to be euthanized.

"His days were numbered," says Severance, "because he is heartworm positive – a very expensive treatment – and full of parasites."

Although emaciated when he was rescued, Jonsie is now in a foster home, where Severance reports that he is "eating everything in sight." After he concludes his heart worm treatment, Jonsie will be ready for a new home. The treatment will cost approximately $1,000 – which Severance remarks seems a small price to pay for such a "handsome" eight-month-old.

Crisis response
But the non-profit, all-volunteer HHS has incurred substantial expenses for Stripey's surgery and recovery and for Jonsie's heart worm treatment – too many to make up through donations and adoption fees.

Fortunately, the 14th Annual Pet Expo is on the horizon.

Henrico Humane Society's biggest fundraiser of the year, the expo (scheduled for Feb. 23 at The Showplace) was founded not only to help with cash flow for expenses such as Stripey's and Jonsie's medical care, but also to provide an indoor venue where families can bring their pets and enjoy demonstrations and exhibits. In addition to featuring puppy races, obedience demonstrations, an agility course and more than 75 exhibitors, the expo will also showcase dogs for adoption.

As Severance points out, the organization has no shelter and relies entirely on donations, fundraisers such as the Pet Expo and its fall counterpart, Bark in the Park, and the efforts of volunteers. "We’ve always [struggled] with finding enough volunteers and funds," Severance says, "to allow us to continue finding homes and vetting these animals in our temporary care at the rate we’d like to."

Despite the struggles, fans of Henrico Humane Society can point to a remarkable list of success stories in the years since the organization's 1991 founding. In 2012 alone, HHS found permanent homes for 311 dogs and 206 cats.

"As a volunteer for HHS, it’s amazing to me that a small group of people is dedicated to car[ing] for every<> animal we can," says Severance, underscoring once more the teamwork that went into saving Jonsie and Stripey.

"We feel so proud that we all pull together when there’s a crisis we can help with."

For details about the Feb. 23 Pet Expo (admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 2-12; additional fees apply for some activities) or to volunteer at the event, call the Henrico Humane Society at 262-6634 or visit http://www.henricohumane.org The .Expo will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Showplace, 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike.


Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

Henrico native to appear on Travel Channel show


A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”

The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.

The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.

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