Senior project helps dogs find new homes

Dogs in various shapes, sizes, and colors - some with jobs to do - and maybe a few cats, will mingle with the cars from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Michael Hohl Subaru, 2910 S. Carson St.

Carson High School senior Nathan Bartosz organized the pet adoption fair for his senior project.

"I've learned a ton," Bartosz said earlier this week as hours of planning came together. "The biggest thing is about managing a big event. There's a lot of people I've been talking to; a lot of businesses willing to help out."

More than just an adoption event, several therapy dogs and owners will be around to show what their jobs are about and the Carson City Sheriff's Department K9 Unit will give demonstrations between

11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The SPCA will have an information table about their feral cat spay/adoption program.

There also will be live radio coverage with K-Bull 98.1 between noon and

2 p.m. and Michael Hohl Subaru will break out the grill and serve hot dogs, hamburgers and sodas.

Bartosz, who has volunteered with the Carson Tahoe SPCA, approached the Subaru dealership after seeing the company's dog friendly advertising, including an adoption event there last fall.

Matthew Hohl, general manager of Michael Hohl Subaru, explained that most of the staff at the dealership are dog lovers, plus many car shoppers bring along their dogs. So hosting an adoption event wasn't too much of a stretch.

"We are pretty excited about it," Hohl said. "The first time, we were unsure what we would really see (mixing a dog adoption with the car business). We're dog people, so if we can help dogs find a home (we want to help).

"It's something different, not a usual Saturday at work," Hohl said, noting that getting a chance to interact with the dogs at work is a bonus for the staff.

Besides getting the dealership on board to host the adoption event, Bartosz has other businesses sponsoring kennels for each dog waiting for a new home.

He expects to show about six dogs from Carson Tahoe SPCA and Carson City Animal Services, plus three dogs from Pups on Parole, a program that matches dogs that need extra socialization with inmates at the Nevada State Prison who train them.

"We're going to bring in as many dogs as we have cages for," said Susan Paul, president of the Carson Tahoe SPCA. "If one gets adopted, we'll go get another one."

Bartosz chose his senior project because of his long-time love of working with rescue dogs.

"I always liked working with animals. I worked with the SPCA before," Bartosz said. "An adoption event was another way that I could help. I could do all the volunteering I want but that doesn't mean these animals get adopted."

Bartosz knows first hand how special rescued animals can be.

"You don't need to spend top dollars for a good dog," he said. "Fourteen years ago, I made that mistake. We spent a lot of money on a pure-bred dog. It developed a lot of health issues. Now we have a mutt that we got at the pound and it's great."

Looking ahead, Bartosz' plans to go to the University of Nevada, Reno to study engineering. Although he is not planning an animal-related career, he does hope to begin volunteering with shelter animals again.

"I miss being out there with these animals."


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