Friendly competition planned to help local animal shelter | Local News


SHERIDAN – A friendly competition between Arete Design Group employees in Sheridan could soon earn the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter thousands of dollars.

Employees help the animal shelter by participating in the local architectural firm’s “Design for a Cause” community outreach program, with three groups of five employees each building their own unique doghouse to be raffled off later this month .

“(Arete) is really about giving back to the community in a meaningful way using our own talents,” said Jessica Ross, director of marketing for the company.

Last year, employees came together to build a luxury two-story playhouse that was raffled and raised approximately $ 4,000 for KidsLife, a local non-profit faith-based youth organization.

The owner and staff decided to add a twist to this year’s awareness initiative by dividing into groups and seeing who could build the best dog house.

“Everyone participated, even the administrative staff,” said Ross. “It gives us a chance to give back in a fun and unique way.”

Indeed, the trio of groups – Paw Patrol, Growlers and Barkitects – produced three very different doghouses that were recently on display outside the Muddy Paw Prints Pet Supplies store on Main Street, where local residents could take a close look and vote for their favorite with the purchase of a raffle ticket.

  • Growlers team – Reminiscent of a Wild West movie set, the fun ‘doghouse’ features modern amenities like a heated water dish and heating pad, plus a covered porch for those hot summer days and secluded living to protect the animal from winter elements;
  • Paw Patrol Team – The ultimate backyard oasis inspired by grassy hills and cool cabin mornings features a home fitted with a heating element and carpet throughout. A high-quality turf roof allows the animal to use their home in a functional way, while maintaining the aesthetics of your backyard and gracefully mixing the various elements; and
  • Barkitectes team – Born from the philosophy according to which materials must speak to each other and form a language of their own. Hand charred wood is paired with raw steel to create a warm and unique aesthetic. The space is optimized for all weather conditions.

Levi Van Buggenum, associate principal owner at Arete, admits bragging rights are on the line, as the three groups fight to raise as much money as possible for the dog and cat shelter with their different designs.

“Oh, yeah,” Van Buggenum said. “I would brag.”

“I like the competition,” he added. “It’s a totally funny thing.”

Leading the Barkitects team, Van Buggenum decided to use a Japanese building style, with the charred finish on the outside of the doghouse providing a chemical-free finish for the lucky animal.

“It is resistant to weathering, mold and pests,” he said.

“Our architects all have their own design styles and aesthetics,” added Ross.

Tickets for all three niches will go on sale until July 19, with draws taking place the next day at 10 a.m.

While the raffle proceeds will go to the local animal shelter, Ross said the winning team will also win a prize. However, what that price is has not yet been determined.

Officials at the dog and cat shelter said the donated funds would be used to purchase various supplies, as well as to improve the facility to take better care of the animals.

Ross said the people of Arete will be back next year with a new fundraiser that will again focus on benefiting another local organization.

“Design will be part of it. This is what we do, ”she said. “Building something like this is fun, more than just writing a check.”

To purchase a ticket to one of the doghouses through July 19, individuals can do so at Muddy Paw Prints Supplies or online at


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