Paws & Pals dinner slated

The Humane Society of Madison County recently announced the recipients of this year’s Bonsai Awards. The awardees were selected from nominations from the shelter staff and board of directors.

The awards will be presented during the fifth annual Paws & Pals dinner and silent auction, set for 5:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 8 at Der Dutchman in Plain City. To register for Paws & Pals, call the shelter at 740-852-PETS or register on line at

The Bonsai Awards were created to honor individuals or organizations whose devotion to an animal or animals went above and beyond the ordinary.

The 2008 winners are:
• George Peyton is a longtime supporter and current board treasurer with the Humane Society. He has transported numerous dogs to rescues and new homes in many states and up into Canada. This past year included a trip to New York City where one of the dogs stepped into a new home across from Central Park, as well as the transport of 19 dogs to Minnesota.

• Dr. Joe Bando is a veterinarian with VCA Sawmill. He also serves as one of the shelter vets who is always available for consultation or to provide needed assistance, particularly in the area of orthopedics. His expertise has helped us keep our animals as healthy as possible.

• Dr. Susan Borders is a Madison County resident. She practices veterinary medicine on the west side of Columbus at the Norton Road Vet Clinic. She has donated medications and provided some needed surgeries.

• Dr. Devon Horne is another of the shelter’s primary veterinarians. She is always available to the shelter director and staff as evidenced by a recent phone call she took during her trip in Mexico. Her in-terest in shelter medicine and persistence in difficult cases have made her a valuable asset to the Humane Society. She practices at VCA Westerville with an emphasis on soft tissue surgeries.

The awards are named after Bonsai, a beagle who was one of the dogs rescued in the Humane Society’s first successful neglect prosecution.   

Once Bonsai was released for adoption, a college professor in Toronto, Canada, saw his picture on and applied to adopt him. Right before that Christmas, she flew from Toronto and spent the afternoon with Bonsai.  Board member Bill Ballis drove Bonsai and his new mom back to the airport.

One international plane flight, a commuter train ride, a subway, and a taxi later, Bonsai arrived at his new home. The professor still sends periodic pictures and e-mails to the Humane Society about Bonsai’s adventures as a canine with dual citizenship.

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