Hogs and dogs: Valpo Harley dealer showcases shelter pets at cruise night

2013-07-05T20:00:00Z 2013-07-05T21:14:05Z Hogs and dogs: Valpo Harley dealer showcases shelter pets at cruise nightBy Susan O’Leary Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 05, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

Valparaiso | Classic cars and canines were on parade at the Southpointe Cruise-In Night at the Valparaiso Harley-Davidson dealership Friday evening.

Local pet rescue Lakeshore PAWS featured six adoptable dogs at the event, which is held every Friday evening during summer.

Lakeshore PAWS dog coordinator Ashley Hill said though the rescue does not do “on-site” adoptions, the event helps volunteers find loving homes for their rescued dogs and cats.

“We get at least five adoptions out of events like this,” said Hill.

The rescue relies on foster homes to care for the 30 dogs it has currently.

“Foster dad” Steve Block, of Valparaiso, has cared for 12 dogs in his 18 months volunteering for the rescue.

Block brought Levi, a 14-month-old pup, to the event in the hopes of finding him a permanent home.

“This is one of his favorite things right here,” said Block, cradling Levi in his arms. “He just goes limp. He’s a 35-pound purse puppy.”

Hill said the rescue relies on community events like the cruise-in to also lighten the burden on local animal shelters.

“We take the animals from shelters so they can take in more strays and owner surrenders and so they don’t have to euthanize anyone,” said Hill.

Joe and Kristen Shelstraete and their daughter, Ashlyn, 2, were in the market for both a Harley and a hound.

“We have a black lab pit mix and we want another,” said Kristen Shelstraete.

Pitch, a black and brown brindle pit mix, donned an orange “Adopt Me” vest and immediately became irresistible to passers-by, including Aaron Collins, of Valparaiso.

“Look at that face,” said Collins.

Angie Pickering and her daughter, Isabela, 6, stopped to pet Pitch as well.

“I feel so bad for these guys,” said Pickering.

Resisting temptation, Pickering said the family already had two dogs at home.

“I cannot get a third dog,” she said, laughing. “My husband would kill me.”

The cruise-in night also featured hot rods and motorcycles, live music, food and a beer garden.

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