Ruthie's Kennel Club

Who is Dear Ruthie?

The founder of Ruthie's Kennel Club, Dear Ruthie, is a Wisconsin entertainer and journalist. Her advice column, Dear Ruthie, first appeared in the "Wisconsin Light" newspaper in 1997, and she began making public appearances across the state shortly thereafter. Her column has since run in "InStep" newspaper and "Outbound" magazine and currently appears in "Quest" magazine under the title Ruthie's Bitchin' Kitchen.

Dear Ruthie made her theatrical debut in 1999 and continues performing standup comedy and working with professional theater companies throughout Milwaukee. She has starred in several comedies including "Auntie Mame," "Die, Mommy Die," "Psycho Beach Party," "The Women" and "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane." Ruthie was Milwaukee's first female impersonator to regularly appear on a weekly, network-affiliated TV program, "The Don and Bo Show." For her efforts, Ruthie became an honorary member of the Milwaukee Press Club. Her framed autograph continues to hang in downtown Milwaukee's Newsroom Pub. She appeared on Season 1 and Season 2 of "America's Got Talent" and was seen briefly as an online spokesperson for

Ruthie has stood shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Candace Gingrich Jones, Congress Woman Tammy Baldwin, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, speaking on equal rights and Milwaukee's LGBT Community. In addition to countless appearances benefiting statewide HIV/AIDS-related agencies, Ruthie has volunteered her time and talent to organizations such as Gilda's Club of Southeastern Wisconsin, BSTD Clinic, COA Youth & Family Center, Camp Heartland and numerous animal-related charities.

Realizing the large number of pet-related charities and animal rescues across the greater Milwaukee area, Ruthie founded Ruthie's Kennel Club in 2013. The dedication of the people involved in these charities truly touched Ruthie, and she knew she had to do something to help them achieve their goals, ultimately helping animals throughout the city.

What is Ruthie's Kennel Club?

The Kennel Club helps smaller, "mom-and-pop-founded" animal-related charities in the Milwaukee area. Interested charities apply to the Kennel Club for possible "adoption." The Board of Directors reviews these applications and selects three to five charities each year based on the applicant's mission statement, goals, needs and previous performance within the Milwaukee community.

By hosting various events and collecting donations from supporters, Ruthie's Kennel Club raises funds for a 12-moth period (April through March). These donations are then equally distributed between the three to five pre-selected or "adopted" charities.

The Kennel Club is managed by a Board of Directors (nonpaid volunteers). Currently, the Board consists of Dear Ruthie (founder), Todd Richards, Sandy Ploy, Kevin Keul, Mark Hagen, Cheryl Sargeant (honorary member), Nichoel Behnke (honorary member), Laura Young (honorary member) and Wendy Smith-Ozug (honorary member).

If you'd like to get involved with Ruthie's Kennel Club, click on the "Contact" link for information about volunteer opportunities.

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