Haunted House looks to help canine nonprofit


By Kaitlyn Nickerson

For The Signal

Dog enthusiasts and thrill-seekers can unite at Shiver Haunt SCV, a house haunt created by Valencia residents David Rosenthal and Gwen Zimlem. 

Rosenthal and his fiance, Gwen Zimlem, have been designing and building 1,000-square-foot haunted walk-through at their home since the summer — and plan to debut the haunt on Oct.18. This is their third year putting on Shiver Haunt, previous years have featured clowns, dolls and even swamps. 

The event is free, however, each year Rosenthal and Zimlem give guests the opportunity to donate towards a local nonprofit. Last year, the couple supported the Hart High School track team.

This season, the charity of choice was inspired by Rosenthal’s own three-legged friend, a chihuahua he rescued through Mutt Match L.A.

Mutt Match L.A. is a no-kill shelter run by Sheilah Aragon. Mutt Match’s mission, as stated on its website is to “rescue as many dogs as possible.” 

More than rescue, the goal of Mutt Match, according to Aragon, is to keep dogs out of crowded shelter systems and pair them with loving owners who want to adopt and care for rescue animals. 

“We are looking for the right match,” said Aragon. “That’s really what it’s about.”

For those animals that aren’t adopted, due to health or behavioral issues, as well as recovering animals waiting to be adopted, are housed and cared for at the Mutt Match Rescue Ranch and Sanctuary in Sand Canyon, where they are cared for by Aragon and the volunteers on her staff.

“This is my full-time job,” explained Aragon.”I work and live at the facility where we house our dogs.”

As a nonprofit, Mutt Match L.A. relies entirely on donations, Aragon said. It costs between $200 and $500 to rescue an animal, not including routine care or operating expenses, according to their website. The proceeds from donations during Shiver Haunt will meet medical needs.

“It goes to the care of the dogs, mostly vetting and any medical costs,” said Aragon. “We have 12 dogs right now that have to be spayed and neutered.”

Shiver Haunt SCV starts Friday, Oct. 18 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will be at the same time on Oct. 19, 25, 26, and 31 located at 26154 Montolla Lane in Valencia. For more information about Mutt Match L.A., visit www.muttmatchla.org.

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