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Santa dogs coming to town

From left, volunteer Fay Peek with rein-dog "Tori," a 7-year-old golden retriever, Carl Liepmann and Santa Dog "Leaf," a 4-year-old golden retriever and rein-dog "Chip," a 2-year-old yellow lab. The dogs will be at Bueche's Food World Dec. 21, 22 and 23. SPI file photo. (click for larger version)
December 08, 2010 - Groveland Twp.-For hungry, homeless dogs, $8,000 can go a long way.

"That's 26,000 pounds of dog food," said Carl Liepmann, who has been bringing "Santa Dog" to the Bueche's in Flushing for 25 years.

Last year marked the first time Leipmann, along with four golden retrievers, visited the Ortonville Bueche's Food World. This year the dogs will be at the township store from 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Dec. 21, 22 and 23.

Liepmann, along with Santa Dog and friends, help raise money at both Bueche's Food Worlds, for the Genesee County Humane Society, G-3325 S. Dort Hwy, Burton. As passersby enter the store, they are greeted by the world class dogs and drop a few bucks in the jar to help feed the dogs at the local Humane Society.

"We make enough in six days to feed the dogs all year," said Liepmann. "Especially now with the economy so bad, we have more dogs than ever—people just can't afford pets like they did. The money we raise all goes toward the dog food—every penny."

The Santa Dog fundraiser is the biggest food fund drive the Humane Society has each year, Liepmann said. The society feeds about 100 dogs daily during the year.

"It's not uncommon for a litter of puppies to be dropped off at the door to the Humane Society," he said. "Due to the generosity of people, all cleaning supplies and food is covered for a year thanks to the donation gained from the Santa Dogs."

The donations stay with Bueche's Food World and as the Humane Society needs food or supplies they're made available.

"Right now we contend with between 8,000-10,000 animals per year," said Liepmann. "We are doing our best to be a no-kill shelter."

Donations can also be made to Santa Dog, Genesee County Humane Society, Carl Liepmann, 9144 West Mt. Morris Road, Flushing, MI 48433.

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