Local brewery has more bite than bark

An organization whose goal is not for the money, but for the benefit of the well-being of domesticated animals is always looking for ways to get the attention and support from the community. 

The Animal Shelter League of Rohnert Park presented a small gathering of their own, where canines and their owners got together for some good times at the Lagunitas Tap Room and Beer Sanctuary in Petaluma on Oct. 28. The Howl-O-Ween Bark, Brew and Boogie event was a chance for the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter to promote their objectives of finding a home for the rescued animals.

This get-together was a fundraiser for the non-profit organization to help raise money and cover expenses needed to properly care for the welfare of these animals. There were tickets available at the door as well as presale, where proceeds all went to the shelter.

This occasion promised a free slice of Old Chicago pizza while listening to the enjoyment of live music from a band called “Sweet Water,” as they went on to play some blues licks which set the mood for the environment like a movie soundtrack.

People would come in through the front with their dogs, some dressed up for the costume contest, and some just excited to be around different people, fellow canines and the sweet smells of the Petaluma brewing.

Some of the dogs there were rescues from the pound or the shelter. Most of them seemed excited to see friendly people willing to give them attention and affection.

On the tables were bowls of crackers, and towards the bar was Halloween buckets full of puppy treats. Anyone could grab one and give it to whichever pup begged the best for it. It was definitely a dog’s trick-or-treat.

The event was Halloween-themed and the costume contest commenced right after the first band’s performance. There were pups as fairy queens, a little helper for Santa, an alligator, a Tyrannosaurus rex and even a hot dog. The winner was a pup and its owner who were dressed as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.

The night carried on with the band “Sad Tires” who played similar music to the last band but with a little more pop to them. The sun was soon gone, but the propane heaters all around retained a warm, homey feeling in the Thomas Court of the Lagunitas Brewing Company.

“It’s nice how a bunch of people and their pets can all get together like this,” said Petaluma resident Scott Moser. “They sniff at some other person’s dog, making a friend, you know? And before you know it you’re making a new friend yourself with the other owner.”

Jessica Meyer, a Sonoma State alumna, was the head behind the organization of this activity along with many others that helped her as well. She mentioned how the wildlife preserve held a similar fundraiser and ended up a success.

“We want to come back and try to make this a yearly thing,” said Meyer. “People bringing their dogs around each other help[s] the people interact, and the costumes are always fun.”

Meyer plans to be a veterinarian, works as a volunteer at the animal shelter and agreed that their night there was a success itself.

Having those dogs around brought out a very close feeling among the people at the event. The Rohnert Park Animal Shelter holds fundraisers all throughout the year, but this was the first time they held one at a site as welcoming as the Lagunitas Brewing Company.