The Phoenix Reporter and Item (

Animal Medical Center in Trappe to splash, bake for charity

By Gary Puleo,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

TRAPPE — Splish, splash, Fido’s taking a bath — and all for a good cause.

Looking to have some good clean fun with your furry best friend on Sunday?

Take him or her for the rub-a-dub-dub treatment at Animal Medical Center and pick up a homemade baked goodie for yourself while you’re at it.

Following a good soaping and rinsing, your four-legged companion will receive a “summery” bandanna and get to slurp up a tasty reward — a doggie ice cream sundae, courtesy of Bruster’s Real Ice Cream of Limerick.

Yes, it’s a small serving of people ice cream, but this treat is earmarked for those with floppy or pointy ears.

The Animal Medical Center staff is hoping to raise money with its Dog Wash and Bake Sale to help see one of their own through some hard times.

The husband of friend and former veterinary technician Denise Ruser is battling stage four melanoma, said practice manager Jane Olson.

“We really want to help them with household expenses and medical bills, and we’ve collected quite a bit already with the donation jar in our lobby,” she noted.

The event, the brainchild of the practice’s Dr. Bridget Hanley, will go on, rain or shine, from 2 to 5 p.m., at the Animal Medical Center facility, 25 W. Third Ave., Trappe.

“If the weather is good, we’ll bathe the dogs outside, and if it rains, we’ll move it indoors,” Olson explained.

The cost is $10 for pooches up to 30 pounds; $15 for those who weigh more than 30 pounds. At 60-plus pounds, black Labrador retriever Max, a certified, working therapy dog belonging to Animal Medical Center founder and owner Cynthia Hartz, lapped up the shower of attention on Wednesday afternoon, taking to his raspberry-infused cleansing like a goldfish takes to oxygenated water.

Max’s bath time was the subject of a Times Herald photo shoot and he clearly reveled in having his luxurious ablution in the spotlight.

“He is really liking this,” said Hartz, as she lathered Max, explaining that he regularly shares his gentle disposition with hospitals, nursing homes and children with disabilities.

All dogs on Sunday must be on leashes and up to date with shots, and their pet parents are asked to bring towels to donate, which will then be washed and donated to a local animal rescue following the event.

Contributors to the Dog Wash and Bake Sale include MWI, Inc., who supplied the shampoo, Sublime Cupcakes, Cake Designs by Patty and many clients and staff members.

Many folks may be familiar with Animal Medical Center’s annual fundraising tradition, “Pet Pictures with Santa Paws,” which gives pets a chance to pose for photos with Santa and has benefited organizations such as Stray Cat Blues and Merlin’s Kids.

Follow Gary Puleo on Twitter @Mustangman48