Pet detectives display investigative instincts at Humane Society event

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Pet detectives gathered en mass, ready to sniff out clues at the Adventures of Sherlock Bones Scavenger Hunt, hosted by the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County (HSVB & IRC) Young Professionals group, The Yuppie Puppies.

“We’re utilizing riddles this year to give it an edge and make it more challenging,” said clue-master Andy Segal who developed the puzzling posers.  “I’m the only one who knows the answers.”

As members of the twenty-five teams gathered in the shade of the Humane Society’s Volunteer Pavilion, groups proudly displayed their creativity with an assortment of inventive monikers.

“We’re the Maundering Weiner Dog Team,” said Sherri Brower, sporting a tee-shirt with a dachshund in a hot-dog bun.  “It means to wander aimlessly.”

“That’s what a dachshund usually does on a leash,” added husband David Brower.

“We have crazy kitties,” said Amanda Pfenning of their Krazy Kats team name.  Husband Brad laughed that their cat Mr. Flakes picked out the name.

“We’re the Woof Pack; our co-workers came up with the name,” said Fire Rescue Medic Stacy Zedek.

In a brief welcome, Chalmers Morse, HSVB & IRC Executive Director, thanked sponsors, committee members and staff and then quipped, in reference to the doomsayers, “I particularly want to thank you for spending the last day on earth with us.”

Morse introduced Segal to the crowd, dubbing him the Maxwell Smart of the Yuppy Puppies, who gave instructions and sealed clue lists with items to be found, some determined by cracking the ten riddles.

Teams hopped into their cars, many into brand new loaner cars compliments of sponsor Dyer Automotive, and took off in all different directions on their sleuthing escapade.

Time files when you’re having fun, and with the allotted time shortened to one and one-half hours this year, it flew by quickly indeed.

As teams checked back in with their bags of goodies, people excitedly compared how they’d done, while enjoying a BBQ picnic lunch sponsored by Bono’s and listening to the sounds of the Old Barber Bridge band.

In the end, bragging rights as the Greatest Pet Detectives was awarded to the Krazy Kats team of Amanda and Brad Pfennig and Sally and Roger Smith.

“Sally, our team leader, kept us on track,” said Amanda Pfennig of the secret to their success.  The team also credited their eclectic friends for having a variety of the items.  “But we don’t want to tell too much because we’re going to be back next year.”

Second place went to Fox Trotters team members Kelly Stubbs, Lori Miller, Sherri Davis, and Todd and Lori Hopkins.  And third place went to the Cat Nappers team, Dana Otopalik, Gloria Allen, Angela Morgan and Lisa Hanlin.

As with all Humane Society events, it’s all about the animals, and this one presented a great opportunity for participants to wander through the shelter and view some of the wonderful pets waiting for their forever home.  Event proceeds, along with the pet food and old blankets collected during the scavenger hunt, will help to provide humane care and shelter for homeless animals in Indian River County.

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