Punk Rock and Pugs: An Introduction to Saturday's Fuzzy Fest IV
But maybe more than anything, he's a student of the music he loves best; so, he knows there's a long history of social activism associated with punk rock. From Fear to Pussy Riot, he can tell you everything that's right and a lot about what's wrong with movements associated with the music.
He's trying to cull from these lessons learned for his own advocacy. He'll get another chance when he rolls out Fuzzy Fest IV: A Benefit for Pugs, this Saturday at The Compound (2305 Wheeler).
"I first thought of doing Fuzzy Fest back in 2009 because there were benefit shows going on but none of them were for animals," he says. "It wasn't until I was living in a punk house that I decided to try again and on November 12, 2011 the very first Fuzzy Fest took place at the now-defunct Ghetto Blaster."
That first attempt was a success in many ways. From afternoon until early morning, band after band shook the small house in southeast Houston. The first 25 people through the door got a free 40-ounce beer and, anomaly of all anomalies, there were free nachos and hot dogs for all the party-goers and bands.
"The day after the first Fuzzy Fest, I met up with a lady named Sharon who operates the Feral Feline Retreat (the event's first beneficiary)," he recalls. "She came in to my work to pick up the money we raised for her and I was a bit embarrassed that we only raised a little over $250."
"She told me that she truly appreciated what I had done and that the money could easily pay for five or six cats being spayed or neutered, with a little left over for food or other supplies," Schoolcraft adds. "Her reaction made me want to keep doing these shows, because it's hard enough for these rescues to operate on donations and I know that every dollar counts to these groups whose vet bills are piling up."
This installment will benefit PugHearts of Houston (pughearts.com), a rescue organization which focuses on this designer breed of dog.
"Pugs are very time-consuming and expensive, but people usually get them because they're 'silly looking' or 'adorable' without even realizing they're getting a 12- to 15-year commitment," says Schoolcraft. "Medical problems are not uncommon with pugs and some people abandon them once they figure out just how much of a commitment they really are."
The organization's mission is to rescue and rehabilitate abused and abandoned pugs and adopt them out to pet lovers who have the patience and heart to care for them.
PugHearts volunteer Kara Ogletree says this is the first time the organization will benefit from a music festival. She's not sure whether pugs are music fans, but says she leaves the radio on for her own pug every day.
"Our goal always is to find forever homes for our pugs," Ogletree says. "We hope to encourage people to adopt and not shop for a pet, whether pug or non-pug, and to get the word out that there are wonderful pets available through adoption."
Ogletree says PugHearts volunteers will be at the fest to answer questions and provide information about pugs. Schoolcraft added them to Feral Feline Retreat, They're So Fluffy and the Animal Liberation Front, all organizations he's teamed with in past Fuzzy Fests, once he got wind of their work with "Harold."
"Harold was thrown from a moving vehicle, causing his eyes to rupture," he says. "These are the types of cases they handle and they never refuse any pug regardless of medical condition. It is important for Fuzzy Fest to help raise funds for them because of the expense needed to help these little dogs."