By Peyton Frank

Owing a pet doesn’t just mean extra chores and nighttime snuggles; they can help improve our health. What are the benefits? Find out those, and more, at Friends of the Shelter’s booth!

On Saturday, April 1, FOTSI will be participating in the 3rd Annual Health and Wellness Fair hosted by Virginia Gay Hospital and we couldn’t be more excited! Not only will we have information on benefits to our health from pet ownership, but you can learn about healthy pet diets and lifestyles.

Have you ever wondered what the controversy is against declawing?! Now’s your chance to find out. Whether you want facts, real life implications, a nail trimming demonstration, or methods of redirecting inappropriate scratching, we’re ready to answer all your questions!

What about spay and neuter?! You know you should do it, but is it too expensive? BIG NEWS! FOTSI has recently partnered with Iowa Humane Alliance and Animal Resource Foundation to offer financial assistance for those who qualify. For any Benton County resident that is approved through ARF, FOTSI is offering an additional $5.00 off! Pick up an application at our booth!

If you’re looking for a way to support FOTSI during this event, you’ll want to take a look at our merchandise. From gently used to brand new collars, harnesses, and toys – we have everything you need to keep your pet safe, happy and comfortable. No pets? No problem! Grab a t-shirt or hat and show your support everywhere you go!

Or, make life interesting and take a gamble! Support the 5th Annual Best Doggone Golf Tournament on May 21stand earn a chance to win up to $300 CASH. FOTSI has partnered with Iowa Humane Alliance and the Shellsburg Lions for the 3rd year in a row to host this great event. Raffle tickets are just $1 each or 6 for $5 and you could win BIG!

Does all of this seem great, but really you’re thinking, “but I want to adopt?!” EVEN BETTER! FOTSI’s adoption application is now even simpler and can be submitted directly through our website: If you’re in the Cedar Rapids area, you can also join us Saturday, April 8th at Newbo City Market for the annual Tour For Life event and meet some of our adoptables!