SALEM- Little Miss Missy Weddle has a wardrobe of frilly dresses, fur coats, bikinis, a flock of stuffed ducks and even a pint-size Mercedes. She uses them for a good cause, though.
Missy is a dog, a fundraising pooch, to be exact, who has raised more than $1,169 for Angels of Assisi so far this month. She’ll be taking the donations on St. Patrick’s Day to the non-profit organization in Roanoke that provides veterinary care, spaying and neutering and animal adoptions.
The 3-year-old Boston terrier lives with Debbie and Mike Weddle in Salem. Missy raises the money mostly $1 at a time through her Little Miss Missy Facebook page. She has attracted more than 4,200 fans since Debbie started the Facebook page in August 2013.
These donations to “Fill My Pot of Gold” are only the latest of Missy’s contributions to help other animals. In the past, she raised more than $800 for two dog rescue organizations, the Franklin County Humane Society, which is a no-kill shelter, and the Boston Terrier Team of North Carolina.
Missy has also collected soup labels for Devin Cox, and Andrew Lewis Middle School student, who turned them in as a school project. “She’s just a little helper,” said Debbie. “but she especially likes to help homeless dogs.”
Missy’s current project has been the most fun for her family, Debbie said, “because she actually gets letters from people. She likes that so much she jumped into the mailman’s truck,” Debbie added.
When people donate money, she sends them a paw-print autographed picture of Missy. “I guess they feel like they’re a part of the fundraising, too,” said Debbie.
Missy has fans from the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. One of her biggest supporters is “Missy’s Mommy 2,” Marilyn Broadaway in Mississippi. “She fell in love with Missy, and she’s the one who sends the cars and dresses from a puppy boutique,” Debbie said. “Missy prances when she sees her clothes.”
Just this week, Broadaway sent a fluffy pink prom dress Missy wore for her photo shoot at the Salem Times-Register on Monday. There was also a pinafore “harness” dress that Missy’s leash clips onto.
The 15-pound pup started out life as the runt of her litter. She was a present to Debbie from her daughter, Brandy and husband Shannon Prusak of Troutville. Brandy fosters animals for the Franklin County Humane Society, and Debbie wanted to come up with a way to give back. “I’m disabled with back pain, and I can’t do anything,” she added. That’s why she started Missy’s fundraising efforts.
“There was a contest last year and Missy won it. They put her picture on a billboard in New York and sent it to me.” Missy enters a lot of contests, Debbie added.
Originally, Missy didn’t have fancy clothes. “I started out dressing her in baby clothes from the Goodwill. That was before Marilyn fell in love with her,” Debbie explained.
“I never imagined the dog world on Facebook is so huge,” she added. “It’s really amazing how many friends the rescue and the spays and neuter have.”
Debbie and Mike have been married almost 35 years. He went to Glenvar High School, works at LewisGale Medical Center in its warehouse and wrestles under the name of Eclipso. In addition to their daughter, they have a son, Scott Weddle of Salem. The family has two other dogs, Samantha, a Lab-beagle mix, and Jake, another rescue, who is a Jack Russell-beagle. “They’re not big in the Facebook world,” Debbie said.
In September, she plans to take Missy and her Mercedes and Barbie remote control car to Lake Norman in North Carolina where Missy will sell kisses, her momma said.
Debbie’s goal is for Missy to be a therapy dog for disabled children. Already Missy has earned her Good Canine Citizen.