Teen Miss Five Hills gets spooky to get animals adopted

Special to Leader-Press 

An axe handle clanged as it was dragged across the chain link fence of a dog run while teenagers on their hands and knees darted out of doghouses to scare their unsuspecting victims in the pitchblack darkness. 
Teen Miss Five Hills Mary Rhorick and her family spent more than 75 hours building props, walls, and carnival games for the third annual Adoptober Festival, an event of the Texas Humane Heroes, Rhorick’s chosen charity. 
“Putting together Adoptober Fest required a lot of hard work and dedication,” Rhorick said.   “The hardest part of the event was making . the haunted house. The walls of the house were made of P-V-C pipes and various tarps. Since the existing building on the property was in bad shape with many areas leaking too much light, it took most of the time to get the structure of the house and rooms constructed. 
“The greatest challenge within the house and a fan favorite was the spider web tunnel. The tunnel was put together very strategically with dog fencing, chicken wire, P-V-C pipe, zip ties, spider webbing and other various decorations. The twists and turns were the hardest element of the tunnel since I wanted it to be secure and safe for all that entered.” 
Five Hills Ambassador Briana Liles said Rhorick did a great job preparing her haunted house, maybe too good for children.  
“It was very scary to me. Even though I knew it wasn’t real, it was very unnerving having the people jump out at you,” the 11 year-old said. “I really like how Mary incorporated the dog kennels with monsters in them into the haunted house.”  
Junior Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer exited back out the front door of the house just seconds after entering.
“Coming up to the front door, I knew this haunted house was going to be scary. “But once I got inside, I was terrified and just had to get out and almost knocked the wall over trying to get away,” the 8 year-old said. “Mary really did a great job making the best haunted house.”
Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts said it was fun going through the haunted house. 
“I wasn’t scared, but it was fun watching the younger kids scream and jump,” Roberts said.  “They did an awesome job and the ones who were dressed up inside the house were great.”
Junior Mister Five Hills Jackson Gibbs mustered up the courage to go through the house twice.
“I loved the haunted house because it had so many different parts and was really scary,” Gibbs said. “I went in two times and had so much fun.”
Through the event, 15 animals were adopted and $480 in cash donations and multiple donations of pet supplies were received.
“The whole point of Adoptober Fest is to get people to the shelter to look at the animals that they would hopefully fall in love with and provide them with their forever home,” Rhorick said. “Texas Humane Heroes has been in existence for 40 years with a mission to eliminate pet homelessness in Texas. It provides pet adoption programs, low cost spay and neuter and vaccination services to enhance the lives of pets and their owners.”

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