Mid-Michigan Working Dogs is holding a Christmas fundraiser

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:53 am on Friday, December 09, 2011

Mid-Michigan Working Dog handlers pose with their bloodhound friends. Some handlers and K9s will be at a fundraiser on Sunday. From left, Sheila Eldridge is with Dixee Rose, Tom Eldridge is with Daisy, Elizabeth Dyer is with Rudy and Allen Buskirk is with Goober. Courtesy photo

SHERIDAN — Mid-Michigan Working Dogs is having a fundraiser to support its efforts in Montcalm County and surrounding areas.
Mid-Michigan Working Dogs is a K9 search and recovery team located in Montcalm County, but serves all of Michigan.
The organization, founded in 2002, assists families, law enforcement and other emergency service agencies in locating lost, missing or deceased people on land or in water.
“We are committed to training and education in order to provide
efficient K9 and handlers as a resource to the community,” said Sheila Eldridge, a K9 handler with the group.
The fundraiser will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Greenville Area Community Center. Tickets are $5 and there is limited seating.
Contact Eldridge at (616) 835-1286 for tickets or pick them at the community center.
The event will include a presentation of the movie “The Christmas Bunny,” which was filmed in Grand Rapids.
“The Christmas Bunny” starred Florence Henderson. Many local actors and actresses starred in the film, along with Mid-Michigan Working Dogs and West Michigan Search and Rescue of Muskegon.
The movie went on sale last month and can be purchased at the fundraiser on Sunday for $12.
Eldridge said they are planning to have four handlers and dogs there to visit with and pet after the movie, which include Tom Eldridge with Daisy, Sheila Eldridge with Dixee Rose, Allen Buskirk with Goober and Elizabeth Dyer with Rudy.
Some members of the movie cast, Derek Brandon as Billy and Andrew Twiford as Johnny, will be attending the event.
Mid-Michigan Working Dogs is a nonprofit organization and works only from donations it receives, Eldridge said. Some of its expenses include fuel cost getting to and from training and searches, batteries, radios, global positioning systems (GPS), dog food, vet bills, licenses, harnesses and leads.
“We are not paid for what we do,” Eldridge said.
Paul Temerowski, director of the Greenville Area Community Center, said Mid-Michigan Working Dogs has been involved with the community center for many years doing training locally and promoting events.
“They are a good community group that cares about everyone,” Temerowski said.
Mid-Michigan Working Dogs, he said, services the area in times of need. The fundraiser is way to help them pay for some of their costs, such as vet bills and so on.
“When a person is missing, they are always there,” he said. “They are a worthy cause.”
Currently, Mid-Michigan Working Dogs has 21 members with 12 man-trailing bloodhounds, 10 cadaver detection dogs and three wilderness air scent dogs.
The members of Mid-Michigan Working Dogs are from all over the region, including Greenville, Stanton, Sheridan, Fenwick, Edmore, Dorr, Clare, Grass Lake, Mount Pleasant, Hubbardston, Summer and Crystal.
“We have many cold cases that we are working with in many counties of Michigan right now,” Eldridge said. “(We) are available for searches 24/7.”

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