Chocolate from a doggie dish? Get sauced at Belleville Humane Society fundraiser

The only thing I love more than chocolate is animals. Well, and my family, but that’s a given. What’s also a given is that I’ll lap up chocolate sauce from a sterilized dog dish next weekend for an upcoming Belleville Area Humane Society Slumber PAWty fundraiser.

Stop cringing! I told you the dish will be sterilized.

Not that this matters to my husband.

“Again!?” Mark groaned, when I told him my plan. “Wasn’t your Slumber PAWty stunt last year embarrassing enough?”

My PAWty trick last year involved Hershey-dipped cat food. And the year before that? A dog treat sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Then there was the time I slept at the shelter with a pitbull who snored louder than I do.

All told, these stunts have brought in thousands of dollars to benefit homeless animals. And I am not alone in my fundraising-efforts. On April 6, Slumber PAWty participants from 75 shelters across the nation – and two other countries – will spend the night in animal shelters, curling up alongside adoptable dogs and cats.

Some will crawl inside kennels. Others will snuggle in sleeping bags on shelter lobby floors. Still others will perform PAWty tricks as silly as mine. It’s what we do to raise money for animal welfare.

“I know you’re committed to the cause – but sometimes I think you should be committed!” my BFF Lydia has told me more than once. Lydia once owned an adorable lop-eared rabbit named Bun Bun. She says she’s not an animal lover but you’d never know it by the way she and her family doted on that bunny.

As for me? I have served on the BAHS board of directors for 20 years but I have loved animals all my life. I’m not unique in this. It’s often the common thread that binds animal shelter staff, volunteers and donors together.

My bossy 14-year-old Chihuahua, Lola, came from BAHS and my fluffy, black cats, Sprite and Sylvie, are also rescues. They were starving kittens with frostbitten tails when my son, Sam, found them along a country road. We planned to foster them until they found a good home. That good home turned out to be ours.

Every homeless pet should know the love of a family, just like every family should know the love of a pet. Presently, Slumber PAWty participants are lighting up social media with fundraising pleas. If you would like to donate to BAHS, you can do so through my fundraising page at or by mailing a donation to BAHS, 1301 South 11th Street, Belleville IL 62226. Please put my name and Slumber PAWty on the memo line.

The animals thank you and so do I!