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Santa dogs return to Bueche’s

by David Fleet

December 07, 2011

Groveland Twp.-It's not unusual for Carl Liepmann to find a litter of puppies or kittens left at the door when he arrives at work in the morning at the Genesee County Humane Society.

"Sometimes a dog or cat will be on a leash tied to the door in the morning, too," he said. "Keep in mind, we have shelter for anywhere from 100-125 dogs, cats, snakes, birds or whatever (on a daily basis)."

While new homes may be top priority for the animals—food is not.

"We no longer need money in our budget for food," he said. "The customers at the Ortonville and Flushing Bueches are generous enough to supply all the food."

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. This year the dogs will be at the township store from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Dec.12-14.

"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 and cats than ever—people just can't afford pets like they did. The money we raise all goes toward the dog food—every penny."

"During the 1984 Christmas season we raised enough money to purchase 3,500 pounds of food. Last year we topped 23,000 (pounds of food)," said Carl Liepmann, who has been bringing "Santa Dog" to the Bueche's in Flushing for 26 years.

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.

"Due to the generosity of people, all cleaning supplies and food is covered for a year thanks to the donations gained from the Santa Dogs."

In January, the Genesee County Humane Society will open a spaying and neutering clinic at their Burton location.

"A member of the Stroh family who lived on Court Street in Flint left us enough money to construct the building," he said. "Before this we sent the cats and dogs out to local veterinarians."

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.