In support of Sammie’s: Community members rally around Nevada County shelter |

In support of Sammie’s: Community members rally around Nevada County shelter

When the Town Hall meeting to discuss the fate of Sammie’s Friends animal shelter takes place on Wednesday, a show of support has been organized for keeping the shelter operating at its current status.

The proposed plan has been met with opposition from many in the community, including Jennifer Riley, who is organizing a “Peaceful Paws” walk before Wednesday’s town hall meeting.

Riley, an animal lover and past adopter from Sammie’s Friends, said the Peaceful Paws walk will begin Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. from the South Church Street parking lot behind the former The Owl restaurant in Grass Valley.

The march will go to the town hall forum, scheduled at the Foothills Event Center on Idaho-Maryland Road.

“What I am hoping to accomplish is that we show our support to keep Sammie’s Friends in our community,” Riley said.

Participants are welcome to bring their well-behaved pets to the walk, regardless of whether they were rescued from Sammie’s Friends.

“If they can’t bring their animals (they can) make a banner with a picture of their animal, or just a ‘Help Save Sammie’s’ sign; anything they can do or carry to show what we’re marching for,” said Riley.

Those who bring their animals are reminded to bring waste bags and water for their pets, and to coordinate a safe place for them to be while the meeting takes place.

“The more support we can get — with or without animals — would be perfect,” Riley said.

Culture Shock Yogurt is also lending support. The shop announced over social media they would be making and selling “Save Sammie’s Friends” t-shirts in an effort to raise money for the shelter.

Culture Shock owner Bobbi Giudicelli said, “Since I moved to this community I have become a professional friend and huge supporter of Sammie’s Friends and of Cheryl (Wicks) and what she does there.

“When I heard what was happening with this, I realized how many people were responding and thought this is an opportunity to make a huge statement. I really want to make a difference.”

Starting Monday and through Wednesday the shirts will be available Culture Shock’s Brunswick location, Old Town Cafe on Mill Street, Sammie’s Friends, Champagne Jane salon, Tribal Weaver, and Blue Cow Deli in Penn Valley.

The cost is $5 per shirt, but more is welcome.

“I am selling them for very little over what its costing me to make them. I hope people can donate a little extra. I really want people to not feel put out by this, but give them an opportunity to support Sammie’s Friends,” Giudicelli said.

Last week a panel recommended Placer County handle the adoption of Nevada County animals out of its animal facility. Nevada County employees, including animal control officers, would operate the existing McCourtney Road facility under the proposal.

The Nevada County facility would remain an intake location for animals, and it’s possible some adoptions could still occur there.

Sammie’s current contract expires on June 30, with a final decision on the proposal by the board of supervisors expected before then.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at or 530-477-4231.

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