Laker staff and students kiss critters for a good cause

Staff and students pucker up to raise money for Patriot Assistance dogs

Smores the cat was in for a second kiss, this time from student Mason Delatos. Student Carlee Zurn held the friendly feline.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — The Detroit Lakes High School FFA called on staff and students to kiss a critter for a good cause. On Friday, March 3, students and staff stepped up to raise money for the Patriot Assistance Dogs program.

Detroit Lakes High School student Jacee Hauser reached out to her critter, Smores the cat, before planting a kiss on its head.<br/>
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Those willing to pucker up for the Kiss a Critter event took a seat in a chair that was placed in the center of the fieldhouse at the Laker senior high school.

The animals were brought in after mats and rugs were put down to cover the shiny hardwood basketball floor of the Lakeshirts Fieldhouse. The animals included horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, chickens and more.

The contestants were blindfolded and an animal was brought to them for a kiss. After puckering up, the person was put to the task of guessing which critter they kissed. Almost every contestant guessed correctly. There were a few that even guessed the correct color of the animal.

Social Studies Teacher Kalan Malchow put on lip balm and tussled his hair to get laughs from the audience while his critter, Little Miss Chicken, was brought out for a peck.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

During the event, FFA members walked through the crowd to collect donations to be presented to The Patriot Assistance Dogs program.


The nonprofit organization trains service dogs for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and more. The local program shares a building with the Marshmallow Animal Shelter and Lucky Dog Boarding and Training Center in Detroit Lakes. However, according to the Patriot Assistance Dogs website,, the group has its eyes on a new 19-acre parcel of land. The website states the purpose of the new site is to offer program growth opportunities, construct a kennel building to care for and train the dogs in the program, and to offer a short-term living space for veterans to spend a week, attend classes and more.

Detroit Lakes High School student Julian Jimenez was one of the students walking through the audience to collect donations that will go to the Patriot Assistance Dogs program.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Swipe right to see the full gallery of pictures from the Kiss the Critter event:

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