Every first Monday of the month is for the dogs at Oro Valley’s very own gastropub, Noble Hops, when the restaurant opens its pet-friendly patio to the canine community for Yappy Hour, a community event held in partnership with the Ina Road Animal Hospital.
Representatives from the animal hospital meet other animal lovers, dog enthusiasts and pet owners to discuss their furry friends, answer questions and raise awareness for the many animal-related nonprofits operating in Tucson. During Yappy Hour 10 percent of all proceeds are donated to a local charity.
“It’s so easy to raise money by literally just coming down and having something to eat and drink,” said associate veterinarian Liane Devey. “It gets everybody together, we get to spend some time outside of the office when animals aren’t sick and we get to talk to people and build relationships with our community. It’s great to have the community involvement and to tell people about all of the different charities that are out there.”
Devey said that since July, Yappy Hour has not only been a great way to share information, but also opened her eyes to the various regional nonprofit organizations which can benefit from the raised funds.
Yappy Hour’s most recent beneficiary was Gabriel’s Angels, which works with volunteers to provide a healing experience for at-risk, abused or neglected children through the use of therapy dogs. The organization offers its service to institutions like Casa de los Niños, Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and La Frontera, among others.
Gabriel’s Angels provides all of the training, equipment and insurance necessary for a volunteer to certify their dog for therapy work, and Southern Arizona Development and Program Manager Jackie Theodorakis said that community events provide a great measure of support in allowing the nonprofit to continue its often life-changing mission.
“If I were to walk into a room and try and teach these kids about empathy, trust or respect, I would just be like any other adult who has ever let them down or hurt them,” Theodorakis said. “But you can literally see the walls come down when a dog walks into the room. My dog is a three-legged toy poodle; she kind of comes bouncing in and these kinds are automatically drawn to her. There is no judgment, just that unconditional love that a lot of those kids are missing. … Our volunteers go in and teach lessons through the dogs. We have things like a stethoscope that we bring in so that the kids can feel the dog’s heartbeat, and then feel their own. They learn about love and respect, using the dog as a vehicle to deliver that.”
Yappy Hour will return to Noble Hops, 1335 W. Lambert Lane, on Monday, Feb. 6 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. with the donation being made to 1 Veteran Foundation, a nonprofit which helps veterans with PTSD by facilitating the partnering of a service dog.
Levey is on 104.1FM KQTH at 8 a.m. on Saturdays for “Pet Talk, with Ina Road Animal Hospital” and will provide new information each month regarding which charities are selected as a partner.