Amy Roberts: Place your bets on the pets |

Amy Roberts: Place your bets on the pets

Amy Roberts, Park Record columnist

"Eat your dinner. There are starving kids in Africa." My parents used to say something of that nature to me a lot as I was growing up. Anytime I complained about a meal, or a new toy I didn’t have, I was reminded to be grateful because those poor kids in Africa had it much worse. I think it’s a pretty universal saying among most parents.

Despite not having kids, I’ve caught myself using that phrase once or twice on my dogs. Of course they don’t understand it, nor do they reflect on their behaviors. But when Stanley whines for a walk or Boston tips his food bowl over because he doesn’t like what’s being served, I open my mouth and my mom comes out. "You guys don’t know how lucky you have it," I tell them. "There are lots of dogs without homes. You’ve won the doggie lottery."

Not that I expect them to be grateful, I know they’re dogs. But they are both rescued pups and sometimes I think it would be nice if they remembered what life was like before I came into the picture. Boston was found in a dumpster and Stanley was chained up in a backyard with very little interaction. Surely the organic meals, daily hikes and memory-foam dog beds they’re now accustomed to aren’t things they should take for granted.

But alas, just like my pleas to stop barking or quit stealing food off the table, my words have fallen on deaf years.

Despite how well they’ve adapted to their life of luxury, I will forever be grateful to the organizations that rescued them and eventually rehomed them with me. Just over three years ago Stanley was taken in by Paws For Life Utah; an animal rescue group based in Heber. And this Saturday, Paws for Life Utah is having its annual Casino Night fundraiser at Red Ledges.

"We’ll have blackjack tables, craps, poker and a roulette table. Guests come and play with ‘funny money,’ which we’ve learned is more fun than real money. And the nice thing about that is, you can win big, but you can’t lose big," noted Cathy Boruch, the founder of Paws For Life Utah and organizer of this event.

Cathy says all of the proceeds from Casino Night go to benefit homeless animals throughout Utah. Paws For Life Utah provides spay and neuter, immunization, microchipping, medical care, food, training and whatever is needed to socialize shelter animals and place them in loving homes. Since the group’s inception in 2012, they’ve rescued over 2,000 animals from shelters around the state and found permanent, loving homes for them.

Paws For Life Utah doesn’t have an adoption center, or even an employee. It’s a dedicated group of volunteers who help animals in need and find them homes. This fundraiser is a big chunk of their annual budget.

"Tickets are $100 and that includes dinner, drink tickets and of course, casino-themed fun," added Cathy. "There’s also a silent auction, so you’re bound to leave with a great prize."

Food, fun and cocktails all for a great cause. No need to kiss any dice, you really can’t lose at Casino Night.

To learn more about the event, purchase tickets or make a donation, visit:

Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.