Hound Hunt sniffs out fun and funds for Humane Society

VERO BEACH — As teams of Hound Hunters zoomed around town on Saturday, collecting items and photos with their unusual team mascots, they encountered some puzzled faces, but lots of laughter too.  It was all in good fun, and all for a terrific cause – the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian Rive County.

The Hound Hunt began at the shelter on 77th Avenue, with members of the participating teams gathering in the Volunteer Pavilion to get blown up tigers, monkeys, elephants and zebras adorned with their team names.  We chose “Bobo” the monkey to go with our Animal Magnetism team, which included yours truly, Dr. Rob and Cathie Callery and Randy Wytrval. The new Young Professionals Group at the Humane Society came up with the concept and, as the price point was kept to a low $10 per person to participate, there were lots of families and children teamed up to play.

After everyone received their mascots and instructions we took off on the scavenger hunt, trying to find and/or photograph as many items as possible in the allotted three hours.  The event deferred from a road rally, where everyone takes the same route, in that teams chose their own direction and method for success.

The page-long instruction list included all sorts of things.  Some were items to collect, such as a coin with a 1980 date, cans of cat and dog food, a four-leaf clover and a lollypop larger than your fist.  There were also things to do, such as buying an item for 25 cents, pumping 50 cents worth of gas and finding an individual at least 85 years old willing to take a photo with a team member and mascot (thank you to the delightful man at Publix!).

Everyone needed their own camera to take photos of team members with their mascot at various locations all around town.  The hardest item turned out to be a team picture playing the game twister, but teams could also get 10 points for each picture taken with a TurtleTrax turtle, which proved a popular choice.

Teams checked back in at the shelter by 4 p.m. with their bags of goodies and volunteers began the difficult task of viewing all the photos and verifying the collections.  Bono’s sponsored a yummy BBQ picnic and everyone chowed down while awaiting the results, excitedly talking about how they’d done.  The comment heard most often was, “We had a blast!”

While they waited, many participants also wondered through the shelter to view some of the wonderful animals just waiting for their forever home.  Proceeds from the event, which was expected to raise approximately $8,000, will help the Humane Society’s Pet Food Bank assist families in need to feed their pets.

Prizes were awarded for first place to the Top Dog team of Joanna Salina, Saundy Healy, Cindy Nady and Cornelia Perez.  Second place went to Thunder Clan team members Madi and Niki Wilson and Janie Caputo.  And third place went to the Stray Cats team, Cindy Flood, Linda Mullins, Cathy Dritenbas and Evelyn Williams

“I thought it was great,” said Chalmers Morse, HSVB & IRC Executive Director.  “We’ve been pushing to have some different events, to bring people out to the shelter and show them that our shelter is not like the shelters of years gone by.”  {igallery 199}

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