F Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter

Pedaling for Pets couple raises over $3,500 for Rivers and Bluffs

By Correne Martin****Courier Press

DSC_0007On one of the hottest days of the summer, Aug. 16, Ashley and Brandon Christensen left Prairie du Chien to embark upon their 12-day Pedaling for Pets fundraising and awareness adventure. They traversed the state, making stops at animal shelters/humane societies in Viroqua, Sparta, Tomah, Marshfield and Park Falls before returning home and hitting Hayward, Eau Claire and La Crosse along the route.

In that time, they raised over $3,500 for Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter; provided eight other shelters with donations of dog and cat food, towels, blankets, litter and toys; and gleaned invaluable information to be used in the construction of RABAS’ future shelter in Prairie du Chien. Personally, the couple also checked the incredible journey off their bucket list.

“I’m glad we did it. A lot of people choose not to do something like this with their free time or they don’t have the opportunity to do so,” Ashley said. “This trip started out as something we wanted to do for ourselves, but we’re proud we were able to help an organization along the way.”

Every day, the two mounted their bikes—Ashley a hybrid and Brandon a mountain bike—around 7:30 in the morning. They were usually done by 2 p.m. and then took time for relaxation and sight-seeing. An anonymous $2,500 donation helped cover the cost of hotel rooms, gas, food and other needs along the way. Though they initially planned to pedal 750 miles, they only did 540, opting to drive certain parts of the route where construction would have increased their biking miles significantly.

In the end, it was still a grueling 12 days, done more than a week ahead of schedule.

“Brandon was always two miles ahead of me so I was by myself with my thoughts a lot,” Ashley noted. “I had to push myself. I was like, ‘Come on girl, you can do this!’ One hill took forever, but I just kept looking down and moving forward.”

Though the scorching heat impeded with Ashley’s ability to complete all of the first day’s planned trip (she did half), Brandon did the whole thing.

“It was my choice to do this trip but my husband was a real trooper,” Ashley said. “I hope we inspired others to do something to make a difference for the greater good because we need more of that in this world.”
Ashley and Brandon toured eight facilities during their journey, including the Vernon County Humane Society in Viroqua, Monroe County Animal Shelter in Sparta, Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter in Tomah, Marshfield Area Pet Shelter in Marshfield, Catkins Animal Rescue in Park Falls, Northwoods Humane Society in Hayward, Bob’s House for Dogs in Eau Claire and Coulee Region Humane Society in La Crosse.

“At each place, they basically gave us the rundown of how their facility worked and the fundraisers they’ve done. Plus, we took pictures of certain things that might be helpful for RABAS,” Ashley explained. “The RABAS building committee also put together a survey for them to fill out.”

Ashley noted that she and Brandon were most impressed by the Northwoods Humane Society in Hayward. It featured an outdoor pack kennel that kept dogs, cats and kittens separated as well as cat trees. “What was really neat was that the thrift store in their town took donations that benefitted the shelter,” she said.

All in all, Pedaling for Pets was a fun and memorable challenge for the Christensens. “Ultimately, everything was for the animals,” the animal lover herself proclaimed. “We’re excited to take all the information we received and make the best shelter possible here.”

Donations are still being accepted for Pedaling for Pets. Contact Ashley at 412-0680 or visit www.gofundme.com/ohiqa0 to contribute. T-shirts are also still available for sale.

Canine Costume Contest

Canine costume contest Oktoberfest 2015-page-001Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter (RABAS) will be sponsoring a Canine Costume Contest to help our furry friends celebrate Oktoberfest on Saturday,October 17th • 3 pm St. Feriole Island, Prairie du Chien

Dress your dog up in his/her favorite costume. Register from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There is no charge to enter the contest. Costume contest starts at 3 pm with a short walk to show off the costumed canines near Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter’s Booth.

Meet Chance, RABAS’ large & furry mascot prior  to contest

For more information call 608-326-2914

Beautiful Hand-made King sized Quilt


rabas quilt raffle_Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter (RABAS) is the grateful recipient of a beautiful Diamond Jubilee  Bargello quilt.  RABAS volunteers are currently selling raffle tickets for the quilt.   The quilt, pieced and donated by Judy Murphy, currently of Dodgeville and quilted by Jody Mahieu of Mineral Point is currently on display at the Pickett Fence in Prairie du Chien. The quilt is 100”x 100” in size and will fit either a king or queen size bed. The color scheme includes shades of blue, green and teal. Two matching pillow cases are also included with the quilt.  Over 2,000 yards of thread were used in this quilt along with 16 different fabrics.  Judy and Jody have totaled more than 200 hours in the making of this outstanding quilt. The drawing will be held in mid-April at the group’s annual Pasta for Pets which is held at Huckleberry’s Restaurant.  Tickets are available at The Pickett Fence, from RABAS volunteers or by calling Bev at 608-326-2914 or Diane at 608-326-2556.

Dogs Ruled the Pool

DSC_0025-001Sunny skies, warm temperatures and crystal clear water of the Prairie du Chien Aquatic Park welcomed  participants to Rivers & Bluffs 8th Annual Prairie Pool Puppy Paddle on Saturday, August 24th.  Sixty-seven canines and their humans enjoyed their day at the pool.  According to event organizers, this year’s dog swim was the best attended in the 8 years.  Small dogs, had first opportunity to get their feet wet, beginning at 9 a.m.  Approximately 10 dogs took advantage of the “small dogs only” period.  At 10 a.m., Labradors and Golden Retrievers outnumbered other breeds showing off what they were bred to do –

Once inside the fenced enclosures, leashes were removed and the fun began. Most dogs all spent some time in the water, but aDSC_0044-001 few dogs never even ventured into the water, choosing to spend their time running at large in the grassy fenced area of the aquatic park grounds.   Random games of dog tag and takeaway (the tennis ball) popped up often throughout the day. It is difficult to say who had more fun – the dogs, their owners or the spectators who came just to watch.  One thing is for sure – all of these dogs slept well that evening. 

The 8th Annual Prairie Pool Puppy Paddle was sponsored by Halpin Tire, Ken Stoeffler – American Family Insurance, PdC Park and Rec. and Walmart.  Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization raising money for an animal shelter in the Prairie du Chien Area.  For more information on the organization, please visit our website – www.riversandbluffs.org or like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/riversandbluffsanimalshelterpdc).  Donations can be mailed to RABAS PO Box 421 PdC, WI 53821. Additional photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/100055574952945809103/RABAS_Puppy_Paddle_2015