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Dog statues a fundraiser for Porter County Animal Shelter

A colorful dog is posted outside Porter County Museum History next Memorial OperHouse for Hounds About Town contest through Kids

A colorful dog is posted outside the Porter County Museum of History next to the Memorial Opera House for the Hounds About Town contest through Kids Power Porter County in Valparaiso, Ind. Friday May 10, 2013. Painted dog statues are placed around town with codes that can be gathered by visiting businesses in town. | Stephanie Dowell~Post-Tribune

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For more on Kids Power, go to www.kidspowerportercounty.org, or find the group on Facebook.

Updated: June 13, 2013 6:51PM



VALPARAISO — Talk about some good dogs.

These dogs sit and stay, and stay, and stay. They don’t bark or dig in the yard or whine to go out in the rain. And perhaps best of all, they are fundraisers for the Porter County Animal Shelter.

Kids Power started just over a year ago to provide an outlet for kids too young to volunteer at the shelter on the own who still wanted to help out. Its newest project is 66 decorated concrete dogs placed throughout the city — think of Chicago’s cows a few years back — for “Hounds About Town.”

Businesses and individuals — including the Porter County Board of Commissioners — paid $200 each for the dog statues, said Kids Power founder Kim Gavaller, who started the group when her daughter Gianna wanted to help the shelter.

Kids Power members painted some of the dogs; the business owners or folks they found to paint them decorated the rest.

“So far we have just a little over $10,000” from the effort, Gavaller said.

Online voting for favorite dogs will generate another $5 per vote for the shelter, she said. There is a scavenger hunt component, too, with cash prizes. The campaign wraps up at the end of this month.

Gavaller, of Valparaiso, hopes the money raised by the fundraiser will be used for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the shelter, as well as an industrial washer and dryer and other needs.

Including the tally from “Hounds About Town,” Kids Power has raised about $14,000 for the shelter. The group also has planted flowers outside the shelter, at 2056 Heavlin Road.

Once the fundraiser is over, some of the business owners want to auction off their hounds and donate the money to the shelter, Gavaller said.

And there may be more hounds in the coming years.

“In the future, we are considering ‘Hounds About Porter County,’ ” Gavaller said.



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