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By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
12:16PM / Monday, February 26, 2024

ADAMS, Mass.—A murder mystery dinner with a Hawaiian Luau theme will be held at Pine Brook Pub to help raise funds for the rehabilitation therapy of a 2-year-old pitbull mix named Betty. 

It has not been easy for Betty. She was struck by a car and left in the road in Georgia, faced euthanasia at the Clayton County Animal Control due to the costly recovery, and underwent surgery to amputate her shoulder and leg.

But she was given a second chance due to the efforts of community members and volunteers for nonprofit and dog rescue Got Spots Etc.

The surgery to remove her leg, which cost over $2,000, was covered with donations from individuals who simply heard Betty’s story Got Spots Etc. owner Kathy “Skippy” Hynes said. 

Although Betty is doing better, wagging her tail, and looking up at Hynes as she happily calls her by the nickname “Lady Bet,” there is still more work to be done. With the surgery complete, Betty will have to continue her recovery in therapy starting in March at Fitter Critters Canine Rehab.

Hynes said this will not be cheap. The dog rescue will have to pay $165 for the initial visits plus a fee for subsequent visits. It is unclear how many visits she will need but will likely need the rehabilitation therapy for at least six weeks, Hynes said. 

“I’m sure she’s gonna be in therapy, probably for at least six weeks and then I’m going to have to carry on what they teach me at home,” Hynes said. 

“So, I know she’ll be getting some massage therapy, probably some Whirlpool therapy, and maybe some underwater treadmill.”

To help with the costs, a murder mystery dinner at the Pine Brook Pub was organized by two women-owned businesses in Adams–Pine Brook Pub Owner Tammy Shaffer, and Mendel’s Stained Glass Studio owner Lisa Mendel. 

The event has already sold out its Sunday slot, but there are still some spaces left for the Thursday, March 7 event at 6 p.m. Due to the preparation required for the event preregistration is required. 

Preregister by emailing [email protected] and pay using Paypal.  More information can be found  here

The purchase of a $35 ticket includes a Hawaiian inspired meal and dessert, the murder mystery game, and a 10 minute hula performance by Hynes, Shaffer, and Betty. 

“[The murder mystery game is a] very interactive game. You’re not sitting down at a table and playing cards or something. You’re up and about mingling following clues,” Hynes said. 

The event will also include a limbo competition. Attendees can pay $5 to participate and if they win half of the pot will be given to them and the other half will go towards Got Spots Etc.

Hynes said it took many members of an extensive network of friends she has developed over her 25 years rescuing dogs to get Betty to safety.

She listed many people who have been dedicated to saving the life of Betty and a number of other dogs that landed in Hynes care including Shaffer, Mendel, Berkshire Veterinary Hospital veterinarian John Makuc, and several volunteer pilots who aid in getting the dogs from North Carolina to the Berkshires, among others. 

Hynes said she targets South Carolina because she has witnessed firsthand the overcrowded shelters that are in poor condition.

“[Rescuing dogs is] very rewarding, even though there’s a lot of neglect and cruelty out there,” she said. “I have met so many nice people locally here in the Berkshires, in the Albany area, and in the Northampton area. Super nice people.”

One of her pilots not only helps fly dogs to the Berkshires for Hynes but is also an Angel of Mercy Pilot, so flies patients for free, she said. 

“Knowing that at least this dog is saved and once that dog is in a forever home it opens up a spot where I could take another one,” Hynes said.

“And sure, I can only do like one every six to eight weeks. All right, but that’s one less dog that is in a bad place. One less dog that’s going to be killed just because there’s no room at the shelter.

When Betty has fully recovered Hynes is leaning towards getting her certified as a therapy dog. Hynes already has one dog, Mya, who is a fully credentialed Therapy Dogs International therapy dog.

“Betty is an inspiration because she’s a survivor. She survived getting hit, she survived laying in the road in Georgia, she survived the nasty high kill shelter in Georgia, and she has not a mean bone in her body. She loves people, she loves other animals, she’s a real lover. And I think I’m I’m very much leaning towards getting her credential like my Mya,” Hynes said. 

“So she can be a working dog and show that just because you were treated badly by humanity you can still go on and do great things. And even if you have a disability, don’t let that hold you back.” 

Not only is Got Spots Etc. dedicated to rescuing and rehoming dogs, they also promote “optimal wellness through the human-animal bond,” Hynes said. 

Hynes is currently in her residency to be a nurse practitioner for psychiatrists. She has experience working as a combat nurse for the U.S. Air Force, and an emergency room and flight nurse for 42 years. 

She said she “truly believes” animals are better healers than a lot of drugs, recalling one patient at a psychiatric facility she worked at who regained his speech after interacting with her credentialed therapy dog Cheerio.

While petting Cheerio one day, he said “hound ears.” This short phase eventually turned to full sentences and conversations. 

“He kept repeating it and repeating it while he petted Cheerio’s head and ears…then a week later when I went to work with Cheerio, the staff said to me, ‘you did it now’ and I said, ‘what did I do wrong.’ They said he hasn’t shut up since you got him talking. I said, ‘You’re kidding’ and he was able to carry a conversation,” Hynes said. 

“I said, ‘Oh my God, it was the dog that brought it out’ and it turns out when he was a kid growing up, he had a hound dog.” 

Hynes said she hopes to work with veterans. She said as a veteran she understands what they are going through.

Hynes expressed gratitude for the donations she has received for Betty’s surgery. She said people can donate online, noting every penny goes a long way.

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