Brendan's Meadows, a Union County-based dog rescue organization, will host a "Howliday" wine tasting from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23 at .
The afternoon, featuring seasonal wines paired with hors d' oeuvres, will also include entertainment and a silent auction to benefit the homeless dogs of Brendan's Meadows.
Kerry Mooney, president of the non-profit, explained how the organization came into existence.
"Brendan was my dad who passed away suddenly in 2008 and we started this rescue to honor him," Mooney said. "He, as all of us involved, are dog lovers. He was a Westfield resident for 50 years. Most of my family are still residents of town."
Since receiving its 501(c)3 status in November of 2009, Brendan's Meadows has saved 12 dogs to date.
"I know it does not seem like a lot but we are short on foster homes," Mooney explained. "We have been involved in sponsoring dogs at other rescues with medical costs and other fees needed to get them to a safe rescue and ready for adoption."
While the organization's focus is local, its involvement is national. Brendan's Meadows assists by providing the transports necessary to see that dogs are removed from kill shelters and delivered to safer locations.
"We have helped to save dozens of dogs just by helping with the transport," said Mooney, who likened the system to the "underground railroad," and noted that transports runs every weekend from the deep south all the way to New England.
Mooney said it takes "a huge network of people" to help these dogs arrive at no-kill shelters. In West Virginia, where many dogs come from, gas chambers are used to exterminate them. Because no spaying or neutering is done, the homeless dog population continues to grow.
"Also, hunters in the south take their dogs out hunting and don't worry if 10 went out and only five come back. Hence, we now have all these non-fixed dogs out in the woods making more," she said. "We just pulled/rescued three puppies from West Virginia and when one of the pups got here he had a broken hip. He is only four months old and living in pain. When he had x-rays done, his pelvis had been broken at some point and healed on its own. We knew when we committed to take him his leg had been broken and fixed, too. This little guy had a rough start but now is going to have a wonderful life. We were fortunate enough to raise, through donations, enough money to cover the $2,000 we needed to have his hip fixed. Larry is doing great and his foster family is going to adopt him.
Additionally, the other two pups went to foster homes also at four months of age and both families are going to adopt them as well.
"So, in our short time, I would like to think we have made a difference in the lives of the dogs we have saved and transported," Mooney said.
The cost of the 'Howliday Wines' event is $40 per person. Please respond on or before Sept. 16. to firstname.lastname@example.org
The organization is committed to raising funds and awareness in the fight to save homeless dogs. Volunteers are warmly welcomed. Visit Brendan's Meadows website for more information.