Many a dog lover has waged an internal war between wanting to help dogs in need by adopting them all and realizing their home cannot sustain another. Luckily, there’s another way to help local dogs even if you can’t take one more yourself: attending a fundraiser for Alpha Canine Sanctuary Thursday.

Starting at 5 p.m. at Imbibe Wine & Sprits, the annual fundraiser is a chance to help the dogs at Alpha while enjoying a dinner of pasta and wine. 

“You’re not just enjoying yourself, you’re also helping animals,” said Marilyn Stewart, founder of the sanctuary. “It’s a double blessing.”

Alpha has held a fundraiser at Imbibe for four years, Stewart said. Though she was a fan of the business before the first event, Stewart didn’t know if teaming up with it for a fundraiser would be a match until Dan Rainey, her friend and Imbibe’s wine and beer buyer, suggested it himself.

“I thought it was too fancy for us!” Stewart said of Imbibe. Rainey’s urging eventually took. “Finally I (agreed). Boy, what a great decision.”

Prizes available in the opportunity drawing will be a treat for the humans or the dogs in their lives: a champagne basket, a beer basket, a basket full of dog toys and a dog pillow among them.

The fundraiser tends to get about 80 people each year and raises several thousand dollars from tickets and drawings, Stewart said. That money helps Alpha pay for vet bills and other costs associated with caring for up to 100 dogs at a time.

One of those dogs, a fawn pitbull named Buster, will be on the patio at Imbibe so guests can “come and admire him,” Stewart said.

“He is the nicest dog on the face of the planet,” Stewart said of Buster, currently available for adoption. “He’s way too adoptable. I can hardly keep myself from adopting him.”

The goal for dogs at the sanctuary is to find them a forever home, but all dogs in Stewart’s care are welcome to stay there the rest of their lives if they’re not adopted. Those dogs will be given a life that is “as good or better than an average backyard dog,” she said, with good vet care, food and pack friends.

“They’re never alone; they need the presence of other canines,” she said. “We keep ‘em happy.”

Alpha has adopted out more than 6,000 dogs, Stewart said, and taken in even more than that.

Allowing Alpha to continue to save dogs’ lives are fundraisers like the one at Imbibe, the largest of three regular fundraisers. In March, the organization held one at California Pizza Kitchen. In November, it will hold another at the Original Roadhouse Grill.

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