Thanks to a dedicated team of superheroes, one particular form of plight and suffering is being combatted across Paintsville and Johnson County.

The problem is unspayed, unneutered strays and pets being kept outdoors and others released as strays. Left unchecked, the problem would be much worse than it is. 

Fortunately for the animals, we have Whiskers or Wags, the group behind the Johnson County Animal Shelter. Coordinating teams of volunteers, every day we have stray animals being picked up out of the cold, temporary residents of the animal shelter getting medical care, and a lucky few finding happy new homes. 

It’s one of those many issues that is neither a Paintsville problem nor a Johnson County problem, but a problem just the same. That’s why it’s good to see both the city and the county declare last week as “Week of the Animals” in honor of the work Whiskers or Wags is doing. That kind of spirit is not only inspiring, but necessary to support efforts like these.

For the superheroes who volunteer there, however, the work is not a one-week issue. One superpower they don’t possess is the ability to magically refill the food bins, restock the supply closets and make the phones stop ringing with new calls of strays in need of help.

These things all take money, and sadly, the four-legged tenants at the shelter don’t exactly pay rent.

That’s why the shelter and its management work so hard to find the money to keep the lights on. This weekend, director Lisa Trusty-Roberts said, is their biggest annual fundraiser, the Bow Wow Meow Luau.

Your $35 admission gets you a lot. You get your money’s worth and then some just from the amazing dinner catered by Smokin’ Butts BBQ, but it also comes with live music, a silent auction, desserts and perhaps most importantly, the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping further a mission of paramount importance. You’re helping those who cannot help themselves, and every animal saved represents a potential for multiple litters of new strays. 

You may not have the ability to adopt a new four-legged family member, or the spare funds to make a direct donation. Instead, this weekend, the animal shelter is giving you the chance to help them by having a delicious dinner in a tropical party environment. It doesn’t get easier than that.

The luau is 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Paintsville Country Club. Even if you can’t make it, spread the word. Even superheroes need a hand sometimes.

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