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Murphy USA is currently holding a company-wide ‘Dog Days of Summer’ fundraising drive for the Union County Animal Protection Society, culminating with ‘Bring Your Dog to Work Day’ today.

The fundraiser started when a group of Murphy USA employees, calling themselves the Friends of UCAPS, went to the company’s senior leadership to request support for UCAPS.

Murphy USA is big on charitable giving. Each fall, the company and its employees contribute to the United Way of Union County, often deducting donations straight from their paychecks for the organization. The company also sponsors the yearly Murphy USA Shootout, part of the Symetra Tour, with proceeds benefiting local community organizations.

“I think it’s to kind of increase engagement and support employee’s interests,” said Angelica Wurth, a Murphy USA employee and UCAPS volunteer. “They want to keep their workforce engaged and happy, and this is something that makes us Murphy USA proud.“

Murphy USA’s leadership gave the Friends of UCAPS a yes, leading to this week’s events. Since Wednesday, the company has held a fundraising drive to raise money for dog food to be donated to UCAPS. Murphy USA matches every donation their employees make.

“Twenty-five dollars buys a 50-pound bag of dog food, and Murphy USA has a gift-matching program, so if you give $25, they’ll match 100 percent of that,” Wurth said. “So if you’re going to give money for one bag of dog food, you’re really giving two.”

By the end of business Wednesday, the company had already almost reached their goal of raising enough money to purchase 150 50-pound bags of dog food, what would typically be an expense of close to $4,000 for UCAPS.

The fundraising drive ends today, with a special ‘Bring Your Dogs to Work Day’ for Murphy USA employees. Wurth said the Little Candid Camper pop-up photo booth will be there to take portraits of employees with their pets and a caricaturist will be there to sketch them.

“Kernal Mustard’s (Hotdog Cart & Catering) is going to be there,” Wurth said. “For the dogs of the employees, they’re making dogs for the dogs. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

An adoption drive will also be held at Murphy USA headquarters tomorrow. Wurth said several of her co-workers have expressed interest in dogs at UCAPS, and tomorrow’s adoption event will have puppies for employees to meet.

Wurth said she would estimate the more than half of Murphy USA’s employees aren’t originally from El Dorado, so they may have never heard of UCAPS. Wurth said one of the biggest benefits of the Dog Days benefit has been the awareness it’s brought to UCAPS.

“What’s more important for us is that they’re coming to learn. ‘Oh, where is the shelter? Tell me about this dog,’” Wurth said. “We have such a diverse workforce of people coming to work there from all over. … A lot of them, they didn’t even know there was a shelter and they’ve never been to the shelter.”

Now, the Friends of UCAPS plan to work to get other companies to hold similar fundraising and adoption drives. Wurth said she hopes Murphy USA will consider continuing the program next year as well.

“Other companies can do it. They can kind of check out what we did and do that too,” Wurth said. “I’ve never worked at any company that has done something like this, where they’re doing adoption drives.”

UCAPS will host another adoption drive Saturday, this time focusing on cats and kittens. The event will be held at Petsense at 2620 N. West Ave. from noon to 4 p.m.

“We’ve been doing TNR, and you know, we’ve trapped, neutered and returned 52 cats and we still – I’m not kidding – we still get so many calls about kittens. So this is our effort to adopt out cats,” Wurth said. “We have so many kittens.”

To learn more about adopting from UCAPS, email ucapsinfo@gmail.com, visit ucapsshelter.org or call the shelter at 870-862-0502.

Caitlan Butler can be reached at870-862-6611 or cbutler@eldoradonews.com.

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