The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)
Woofstock 2021 celebrates Wanderers' Rest's 40 years of helping animals
ONEIDA, N.Y. >> Area dog lovers and their four-legged friends recently took part in Woofstock, an annual event this year celebrating Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association’s 40th anniversary.
The dog-themed festivities at Vet’s Field included raffles, over 20 vendors, children’s activities, and of course, plenty for pooches. Shelter cats and dogs ready for adoption were on-site to meet and greet with potential owners. Many visitors chose to bring their own canine friends to enjoy the fun and get in on the cause for their own kind.
Wanderers’ Rest’s mission is to compassionately care for and adopt out cats and dogs in the area who need a home. In the 40 years the not-for-profit located in Canastota has been running, it has helped thousands of animals find loving homes. Progress is moving forward on the shelter soon expanding into a brand new location in Oneida, which officials are excited to see.
During the event, shelter volunteers were recognized for all of their hard work serving the community’s unhoused animals. “are the key to our success,” said Erica Toyama, director of development at Wanderers’ Rest. “We are so grateful to have the crew that we do.”
One special volunteer was recognized with the Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association’s 2021 Volunteer Appreciation Award. That special someone was Deb Norwalk, who Toyama says is a huge asset to the shelter and has been for many years. Norwalk is always willing to lend a hand and has a dedication to the an
imals deserving attention, Toyama said.
Shelter Manager Sabrina Wilcox took a moment to thank all of the staff for their hard work. “This work isn’t easy. It is draining, physically and emotionally, and our staff give it their all every single day. I couldn’t be more grateful to have the team that we do, and I want to make sure they all know how much each and every one of them is appreciated,” she said in a written statement read by Toyama.
Oneida Mayor Helen Acker was also present to share a few words and recognize the importance of this community event.
While fundraising is important, it’s the community engagement that matters most during Woofstock, Toyama told the Dispatch. Bringing awareness of and familiarity to the Wanderers’ Rest name and mission establishes connections that help place deserving animals in the shelter’s doors and place adoptable pets into accepting homes. Wanderers’ Rest currently has four dogs and 11 cats listed online for adoption.
Guests enjoyed live music throughout the day, performed by Steve Laureti and Old Clay Stone. A dogthemed bounce house was available for kids.
Sponsors for the event include Staffworks Fund, Village Veterinary Hospital, Chittenango Animal Hospital, and Ralph’s Collision, Inc.
Playtime for the pups was in no short supply with water sprinklers, pawprint art, a kiddie-pool station, and a “Smooch your Pooch” kissing booth. Just around the corner at Chapman Pool, dogs could fully submerge in the water during the Oneida Improvement Committee’s Puppy Paddle event, happening separately from Woofstock, to help raise funds for a Dog Park in the Oneida area. A bone bar and additional splash areas were available.