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Windham County Humane Society executive director Annie Guion holds Cherry, one of the puppies the shelter currently has for adoption.


Cupid with four legs and a tail

Windham County Humane Society starts ‘Puppy-gram’ service for Valentine's Day

BRATTLEBORO—Instead of giving your beloved a box of chocolates on St. Valentine’s Day, why not let a puppy do it?

The Windham County Humane Society is holding its first-ever “Valentine’s Day Puppy-grams” fundraiser.

For a donation of $50, a puppy — accompanied by a human volunteer — will visit your loved one at their home or workplace in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Newfane, Putney, and Vernon.

“The recipient will have a half an hour to enjoy the puppy — and the puppy breath!” WCHS Executive Director Annie Guion told The Commons.

The puppy will wear a puppy-sized backpack holding a greeting card from the sender and either Lake Champlain or Lindt chocolates.

“Because who cares about roses?” Guion said. “Everybody wants chocolates.”

This is the first year the WCHS is offering Valentine’s Day Puppy-grams. The WCHS’s Director of Development, Marianne Monoc, learned of the program from other shelters, Guion said.

“We wish we’d thought of it,” Guion added.

All proceeds from the Puppy-grams will go to the WCHS to care for animals in need, said Guion, who noted, “while it’s a fundraiser, it’s also community outreach.”

Guion recommends interested parties sign up early; the program is limited to only 30 slots. “We have three drivers, and they’re each getting two puppies” to bring to recipients on Feb. 14, she said.

The puppies will come to the WCHS from St. Hubert’s, an animal shelter in Madison, N.J. “We get regular dog transports from them, and most of the dogs come from down south,” Guion said.

The Puppy-gram puppies will arrive at the shelter on Feb. 8, a vet will examine them, and the next day the dogs will go out to local foster families until the big day, when they’ll come back to bring love and candy to 30 lucky recipients.

What if a recipient loves the puppy so much, they want to keep it? The WCHS staff is prepared for that.

“We’d be happy to arrange an adoption once the puppy is done delivering the Puppy-grams,” Guion said. “Come on Thursday to the WCHS and we’ll fill out the paperwork.”

“Our pets embody unconditional love,” said Guion, “so what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day?”

To purchase a Puppy-gram, contact the Windham County Humane Society at or call them at 802-254-2232. In case of inclement weather, the WCHS will postpone Puppy-gram deliveries and notify participants.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #444 (Wednesday, January 31, 2018). This story appeared on page A1.

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