Brandeberry Winery partners with Clark County SPCA to find dogs loving homes

While all dogs in shelters deserve loving homes, sometimes older “senior” dogs have the hardest time finding a family looking to adopt them.

Brandeberry Winery’s annual Dogtoberfest event, which benefits the Clark County SPCA, will focus on helping those senior dogs to find loving homes.

“It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year (for the SPCA),” said Krissi Hawke, director of the Clark County SPCA. “Without Dogtoberfest the SPCA couldn’t be the way we want it to be.”

The SPCA’s vision is to have a community free from animal cruelty and pet overpopulation, as well as ongoing educational opportunities for the next generation.

Hawke says senior dogs are hard to find a home for, but there are benefits to adopting older dogs including a dog established in life that knows how to love its human and has already been through the puppy stage. She says adopters don’t know how long they’re going to have a senior dog, but the feeling that comes with knowing the animal now has a forever home is gratifying.

“Giving (the dog) the life it has deserved all along is unlike anything else,” says Hawke. “The feeling you get in your heart from being that person willing to take a senior dog - or cat – is a feeling you can’t get in any other way.”

Springfield resident Heather Turner and her family adopted senior dog “Wilson” from the Clark County SPCA in 2020. Turner says it was the best “on the fly decision” she has ever made.

“Wilson and other senior dogs have so much love to give,” she says. “After Wilson realized he was ‘home,’ his personality began to shine through. He literally makes us smile and laugh every day. We are blessed to have made the decision to adopt.”

Turner says another positive about senior dogs is the fact that they are past the “puppy stage” and are much more calm and relaxed.

Hawke says Brandeberry Winery puts in a lot of work for the Dogtoberfest event and the Clark County SPCA wouldn’t exist without it.

“The Winery saves us,” says Hawke. “I don’t know how we could be what we are without them.”

The winery will officially “go to the dogs” on Saturday, Oct. 9, as canines and canine lovers from the region make their way to the 12th annual Dogtoberfest.

Brandeberry Winery, 5118 West Jackson Road, Enon, opened in June of 2009. Owner Kelly Brandeberry is a professional dog trainer and long-time advocate for dogs.

“I would look at the place and think ‘we could do some really great things with this property,’” says Brandeberry who also serves on the Board of Directors for the Clark County SPCA. “I wanted to do a fundraiser for the animals in Clark County. I struck up a friendship with Krissi Hawke, and that’s how it all began.

“I could see the dedication she had, and I knew when I raised the money it would go to the animals.”

Brandeberry’s heart felt led to focus on senior dogs this year, which inspired this year’s theme, “A Diamond in the Ruff.”

“Seniors may not look as cute as puppies, but you get the best part of their life,” Brandeberry says. “You get a calm dog with so much love to share. We want to encourage people to consider that.”

The signature wine bottled for the event is also aptly named to reflect the theme, and the label features senior dogs owned by the Brandeberry family. Each bottle of the apricot moscato sold will provide a $5 donation to the Clark County SPCA.

Past Dogtoberfest events have raised as much as $9,000 for the organization.

“It’s shocking how much people love it,” says Brandeberry. “It shows the dedication they have and the love they have for the SPCA. It warms your heart. Dog lovers want a place to go with their dogs.”

The public is invited to bring their people-friendly dogs to the winery between the hours of noon and 5 p.m. for the Dogtoberfest activities.

The event will feature a costume contest for dogs with judging at 3 p.m., vendors, a 50/50 raffle, bake sale, a pet photographer, and food from Freddie’s Franks and Burgers and Rudy's Smokehouse.  

Live music will be provided by Skip Hoyt from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Patrons 21 and over can also enjoy a wine tasting for $12, which includes six wines and a commemorative Dogtoberfest glass.

The SPCA will also have adoptable dogs on site at the event including, Bozo, a senior Boston terrier mix that was pulled from another shelter and has been at the SPCA shelter waiting for his person or family since June.

Brandeberry says as long as the Clark County SPCA needs Brandeberry Winery, the partnership will continue.

“As long as I’m able to, I hope it continues to grow. Our goal is that the dogs and cats get homes, and we raise a lot of money for them. They survive on donations," Brandeberry says. "It’s something the community loves, and it does well for community animals.”
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Read more articles by Darci Jordan.

Lifelong Clark County resident Darci Jordan is a freelance writer and former staff writer/columnist for the Springfield News-Sun. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture Communications. She currently also serves as a writer for the Clark State Community College marketing department. She enjoys time with her family, horses and Ohio State football. Go Bucks!