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Roll Up your Sleeves and Wash that Dog for Charity

April 29, 2013

The Orinda News

What are you doing on Saturday, May 4? if you ask Baker Sharp of Orinda, he’ll tell you that he hopes you’ll be washing your dog. Take your dog for a wash at Pet Food Express stores in Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, Concord, or Danville that day and 100 per cent of the fee you pay will go to saving cats and dogs, especially dogs like Truman.

Who is Baker Sharp? And, what’s so special about a dog named Truman? Sharp is a 7th grader at Orinda intermediate School and a participant in the school’s Take Action Project (TAP). Truman, well, he just happens to be Baker’s best friend and the inspiration for the project Sharp is undertaking.

TAP requires that students find problems that affect lives and come up with solutions. Sharp readily shares that some of the projects chosen include global warming, clean water and endangered species. For him, however, it is the “awesome friend” he finds waiting at the gate of his yard every day when Sharp comes home from school.

“Truman is always there. He sees me and hops up and grabs his ball. Ilove him a lot,” Sharp says. Baker goes on to describe how the 100-pound German Shepherd was rescued from an animal shelter by the Golden State German Shepherd Rescue in Walnut Creek. “He almost died,” says Sharp, describing the awful reality that animals left too long at some shelters can end up being euthanized.

To help other animals like his Truman find happy homes, Sharp decided to make his TAP project a fundraiser in support of local Operation Paws Rescue. He has carefully researched all the steps involved in saving animals and explains that the rescue program takes animals from a shelter that has too many animals at a particular time and places them in shelters that have too few. Animals, however, must be spayed or neutered in order to be moved out of an animal shelter and made available for adoption.

To help Operation Paws Rescue pay for the spaying and neutering of the animals, the four local Pet Food Express stores have agreed to donate all the proceeds of dog wash tokens sold on Saturday, May 4. Each token costs $15 and is used to do a self-wash of your dog. The stores are equipped with special dog washing tubs, shampoo, dryers and towels to give your dog a convenient and easy bathing experience. Sharp hopes to raise at least $4,000 in donations for Operation Paws Rescue and to make the possibility of that happening even greater, Pet Food Express is giving Sharp tokens he can sell on his own at $15 each that the store will honor on any other day. He plans to canvass dog parks and place posters in stores to get the word out. If there is any doubt about this young ask him what he wants for his upcoming birthday. Sharp says, “I ask people to donate to German Shepherd rescue groups instead of giving me gifts.” He clarifies, “it’s not that i don’t like gifts. i do; but this is really important to me.” Sharp plans to do the same thing at Christmas. To connect with Sharp about his TAP project and fundraiser, you can contact him at

Most Pet Food Express stores are open on Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. you can “friend” both Golden State German Shepherd Rescue and Operation Paws Rescue on Facebook. And if you’re looking for a birthday gift for Baker Sharp, think about making a donation to your favorite animal charity in honor of Sharp and Truman.

By Jennifer Conroy Staff Writer

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