Weather dampens Berkshire Humane Society's Woofstock

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PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Humane Society opted for dry dogs over wet woofers on Sunday.

Due to heavy downpours and gusty winds, the animal support group postponed its 20th annual Woofstock, a dog walking event scheduled for The Common on First Street. The nonprofit's major fundraiser in recent years has raised between $15,000 to $20,000, according to Executive Director John Perreault.

"We had a goal this year of $30,000," he said. "Once we find out the availability of The Common, we'll try and reschedule at a later date."

The nasty weather didn't dampen other activities associated with Woofstock: the pancake breakfast was moved to the animal shelter on Barker Road and a new car was raffled off as planned with the help of WTEN Chief Meteorologist Steve Caporizzo.

As honorary chairman of Woofstock 2015, the host of Pet Connection on the Albany, N.Y. television station drew the name of Cassie Carmon, as about 50 people looked on in the spacious lobby of the shelter on Barker Road. The Piittsfield resident gets to drive off with a Subaru Outback courtesy of the Haddad Subaru in Pittsfield.

Minus the car's worth, the raffle that began in January netted BHS $25,000, Perreault said.

Caporizzo is a regular visitor to the local shelter, one of 16 he works with directly along with six animal rescue groups in eastern New York and western New England. All often featured on Pet Connection, which celebrates its 25th anniversary on Thursday, according to the weatherman.

"I would love to talk pets rather than weather because everyone has a great pet story to tell," he said.

The Massachusetts native and one-time Otis resident was honored by the BHS board of directors, who presented him with an award for on-going support of the local shelter.

"I've always admired everything he's done for animals," said Cindy Bartlett, the board president.

"You've educated people about what it means to be good pet owners," Perreault added.

In receiving the award, Caporizzo thanked his mother for instilling in him to be caring and a "voice for the animals."

BHS officials credit, in part, Pet Connection with raising awareness about adopting a dog or cat from animal shelters in the region.

"These [pets] are evaluated by our staff and are well known to us," Bartlett said.

Kristie Hurlburt and her daughter, Madi, from Dalton, recently rescued Letty, a 17-week-old golden retriever/shepherd mix they hoped to show off at Woofstock. Nevertheless, all three got to meet Caporizzo at the shelter and mingle with other dog owners.

"She was the run of the litter, but has a beautiful personality," Kristie said of her canine companion.

Letty is also a bit of a doggie gymnast, as she can tumble.

"She does forward rolls in the grass," Madi said.

Contact reporter Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.


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