ARF: Metal For Mutts

by Wendy Hunter
Wendy Hunter is a volunteer with the Animal Rescue of Fresno. ARF shares with KRL their animal rescue adventures every month. You can learn more about them on their website.

If heavy metal bands ruled the earth, we’d be a lot better off.
-Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden

What do you get when you take a bunch of heavily-tattooed party people, guzzling Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys, and mix them with an energetic group of head-banging, leather-clad, dog-loving, heavy metal musicians? You get an ear-splitting, floor-shaking, eyeball-bulging, nerve-shattering, earthquake-inducing, jumping-out-of-your-skin good time. You get professional Fireball shooters, two-fisted beer drinkers, and tipsy girls flirting on the dance floor. You get lights and fog and sweaty guitarists. You get drummers spinning sticks, bassists on the beat, and howling lead singers nearly busting a lung. You get fire and brimstone, debauchery, and groupies foaming at the mouth.

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Huh? Okay, that last part isn’t true, but it’s apparently the kind of behavior that heavy metal haters expect. In reality, what we got was an amazing turnout for a worthy cause: Animal Rescue of Fresno’s 4th Annual Paws 4 Metal fundraiser. Our good friend and ARF volunteer, Logan, really knocked the ball out of the park this year by organizing the whole shebang. Along with his group, Psycho Dog House, Logan was joined by several other local metal bands, including Friend or Faux, RISE, and Worthless Liars. It promised to be quite the evening, with a spontaneous combustion of music, muscle shirts, and some major hair flipping. And I thought we had a lot of hair at ARF…

Paws 4 Metal was hosted by our friends at Fulton 55, a funky downtown joint with a mirror ball, a sleek little bar, and lots of seating for all hip lounge lizards. If you’d like to be right smack in the middle of things, you can snag one of the many high top tables, and perch yourself like a parrot on a bar stool for the night. The abundance of great fans was a bonus, and even though they sounded like Top Gun jet engines, they kept rowdy revelers and their drinks cool. Because warm beer is gross. Now, I know some of you are thinking, wait a minute, you didn’t actually take real live dogs to this amplified event, did you? No, we did not. We did not give them tiny little earplugs, dress them in Thunder Shirts, and slip a Benadryl in their Pup-Peroni. That would be silly; everyone knows that ARF dogs prefer Vienna Sausages. For the record, WE volunteers had the earplugs, WE wore the ARF shirts, and WE chased our Advil with Diet Coke. And even though a nicely chilled Salty Dog sounded pretty tasty at the time, I had to step back and remind myself that vodka and volunteering do not mix well. Sort of like ham and pineapple pizza…just walk away.
Van Halen

A few of our aptly-named dogs would have been perfect for Paws 4 Metal. For example, Van Halen, a perfectly packaged Chihuahua who can easily pick up radio stations with his oversized ears. Just don’t try to use his nose as a tuning knob. There’s Elton John, with his sweet face and lovely eyes, proudly wearing jet black, the color of choice for rockers of all ages. This Terrier mixes it up though, with a dusting of Oreo cookie crumb markings down his chest. And then we have Cher, our charming chocolate Min-Pin, whose coat is as smooth as a string of pearls. If you need a dash of “hot stuff” in your life, look no further than Donna Summer, a pint-size pup who looks nothing like her famous namesake. I haven’t listened to her bark though, so she might sound like the Queen of Disco. You never know, she might belt out a rousing version of “Last Dance.” And if reggae is more to your liking, then how about a little Bob Marley? Literally. He’s not very big. Bob and I became acquainted the very first time I picked him up for bedtime, and he promptly peed all over me. Hi, nice to meet you, let me treat your body like a fire hydrant. If I ever write a book, it will be called, Bob Marley Peed on Me Last Night: Adventures in the World of Animal Rescue. Catchy, right? I’ve a feeling it will be a huge hit in the horror section, and a permanent addition to all bookstore bathrooms across the nation. Take that, Stephen King.

For dogs like these, who were pulled from local shelters, our fundraisers are truly life-saving. Every single penny we earned from selling tickets and T-shirts at Paws 4 Metal will go directly to the care and well-being of our dogs. Whether it’s for medicine, food, or spay and neuter costs, every little bit helps keep our organization (and dogs) alive. And don’t let anyone kid you, fundraisers are a lot of hard work.

For our annual Pancake Breakfast, coming up October 20, it truly takes a village to get everything ready on time. From the buffet to the raffle prizes, to the music and decorations, it’s all hands on deck to make sure everything is shipshape. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from participating in a few of these breakfasts, it’s that we can run out of sausages, we can run out of pastries, or we can even run out of fresh fruit, and people will generally be understanding. However, if we somehow manage to run out of java, the natives not only get restless, but they get downright manic. They start to sweat. Their eyes turn red. That big vein in their forehead starts to bulge. “You’re out of coffee? What? I only had 10 cups! Did the world stop spinning? Did the sun burn out? Is my hair on fire?” Um, I have one word for you: decaf.

I didn’t see much coffee being consumed at Paws 4 Metal, but this gang didn’t need any caffeine; they were pumped up and ready for the show. What I did see was an eclectic crowd as diverse as the dogs at ARF. There were cowboy hats, do-rags, lacy tops, distressed jeans, stiletto heels, and motorcycle jackets. There was the overly- enthusiastic dude over my shoulder, who kept high-fiving his neighbor with a sloshing beer every 10 seconds, “Right on man!” And I couldn’t stop laughing when the guy next to me won an electric guitar as his raffle prize, and yelled to the roaring crowd, “Wow, I only bought ONE ticket!” But for sheer girl power, I must give kudos to the bassist from RISE. With her huge hairsprayed pompadour, skull-adorned vest, and screaming scarlet bass, she was the epitome of awesomeness. Which begs the question, where are all the rockin’ women? What’s happened to chicks in charge of bands, like Heart’s Anne and Nancy Wilson, Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders, and Pat Benatar? What became of truly raw talent? I don’t know, but I’d pay good money to see Joan Jett jump off the stage and kick Ariana Grande’s feeble little fanny around the block.

Over the coming few months, Animal Rescue of Fresno has several fundraisers planned. After the Pancake Breakfast, we will be at Camping World on October 13th, and then at Subaru, for their Share the Love campaign on November 3rd. In addition, ARF will be hanging out at Woodward Park on November 10th, for the annual Pinnacle Pup Run. At each event, we volunteers will bring along a nice selection of furry friends, just in case your couch has an empty spot to fill.

For more information on any of these happenings, please check our Facebook page, shoot us an email, or just give us a call. I’m sure our pal Logan is already rounding up the troops and handing out their marching orders. We are incredibly fortunate to have friends like Logan, who somehow manages to talk his pals into joining us for just about every ARF event. Maybe it’s because they’re such great guys. Maybe it’s because they’re all dog lovers. Or maybe it’s because Logan cuts such an imposing figure in his leathers; he looks like a biker the size of Paul Bunyan. And how do you say no to that?

Why would heavy metal ever go away?
- Scott Ian, Anthrax

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website. They are located at 4545 E Dakota Ave in Fresno, California. And their phone number is (559) 225-5715

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for just over a year. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.