Local Heroes: Girls help out by walking dogs

Two Twin Lakes girls are being doggone good to animal welfare and a family burned out of its house.

Ashley Spencer and Chrissy Branche, both 11 years old, started out walking dogs for area pet owners to raise money for the Humane Society. But after a fire heavily damaged the home of one of their clients, the girls decided to shift some of their proceeds to the family.

The donations they accept for their dog-walks have amounted to about $40 apiece so far for the Humane Society and the fire victims, whose plans for having their dogs walked changed after the approximately $150,000 blaze March 1.

Branche said the family, who lived in her neighborhood, is moving into an apartment and “doing fine” but doesn’t have time to coordinate their dogs’ walks with the girls.

The girls’ efforts are “a good-news story,” said Stacey Bohrer, one of the pooch patrol’s regulars.

Bohrer’s two golden retrievers spend 45 minutes to an hour getting exercise, brushed and fed treats by Spencer and Branche.

“The dogs love it,” Bohrer said.

Spencer, whose family has a golden retriever of its own and a chihuahua that’s “due for puppies,” said she and Branche wanted to help the Humane Society. The agency suggested walking dogs.

One night during a sleepover at the Spencer house, “Ashley said, ‘Wouldn’t that be cool?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, that would be really cool.’ So we stayed up until 2 a.m. talking about it, and then we went out the next day and started doing it,” said Branche, whose family also has a golden retriever.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Spencer said.

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