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Belly Dancers Perform to Promote Pet Adoptions

TUESDAY, OCT. 18, 2016 – The belly dancers are coming back.

Belly dancers, vendors, a petting booth, adoptions at a special discount, opportunity drawings and some additional surprises are all part of Saturday’s (Saturday, Oct. 22) annual Shimmy for Critters event at the county’s main shelter. The fun runs noon to 4 p.m. at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter (6851 Van Buren Blvd., Jurupa Valley).

The Animal Solutions Konnection (ASK) Foundation is the sponsor of the event. The ASK Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization that works closely with Riverside County Animal Services to assist with special-needs pet medical cases, promote pet adoptions at county shelters and to educate the public about pet overpopulation and other topics.

Local belly dancers will perform throughout the Shimmy for Critters event, and a drum circle is also planned, all in the name of livening up the county’s largest animal shelter.

Pet adoptions will be at a discounted rate – just $20 – and includes the usual package for all adoptions: the pet’s spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and a microchip. Dog adopters will still be required to pay for a dog license ($17) if the adopter lives within Riverside County Animal Services’ jurisdiction.

Also, a bonus for the early adopters: The first 50 adopters of dogs get a goodie bag and the first 20 cat adopters score a a goodie bag, all courtesy of the ASK Foundation.

The Shimmy for Critters tradition started several years ago when one of the employees of Riverside County Animal Services wanted to bring her love of belly dancing to the shelter as a way to celebrate and encourage pet adoptions. Marilyn Chocron, the employee who sparked the Shimmy tradition, died of cancer in 2013, but friends of Ms. Chocron continue the spirit of Shimmy for Critters as a way to honor her legacy.

Another way to honor Ms. Chocron is a special moment during Shimmy for Critters: Zeenah is coming. Zeenah is a former Riverside County shelter animal that Ms. Chocron fostered before she succumbed to cancer.

“We appreciate the goodwill brought to our shelter by the wonderful volunteers who make the Shimmy for Critters event happen each year,” Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. “The belly dancers really do energize our shelter and we love how this event draws in many families and adopters for our homeless pets.”

Approximately 85 dancers are scheduled to be a part of Shimmy for Critters and roughly 20 performances are planned. The ASK Foundation has also arranged a “kiss-a-bull” pit bull petting booth and dog-training tips. There will be a handful of vendors at Saturday’s Shimmy event. The ASK Foundation welcomes additional vendors. Visit the ASK Foundation’s vendor sign-up link by visiting its Web site here.

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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