Queenie the rescue dog kisses and tells after big backstage moment with Styx

Author: Kendra Meinert
Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette

Jan. 3, 2019

Queenie took full advantage of her backstage pass to the Styx concert at the Resch Center.

Part “Lady,” part “Renegade,” she wasn’t shy about leaning in and laying a kiss on singer and guitarist Tommy Shaw during a meet and greet on Saturday night.

The 1½-year-old terrier mix turned more than a few heads when she made a surprise appearance before the show. A stray from Texas who has been adjusting to life at Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary in the last few weeks, Queenie had a big night. She was the plus-one when the no-kill shelter’s founder, Amanda Reitz, and her brother, Marcus Reitz, who handles HEA’s marketing and branding, were invited to preshow festivities.

None of the acts performing that night — Styx, Ann Wilson of Heart and John Waite — expected to see a four-legged fan come through the line. Even arena acts get a little starstruck when there are big brown eyes and a tail involved.

“Each one of them, when Queenie turned the corner and was visible in the meet-and-greet line, their eyes just lit up, and you could already kind of see them mouthing 'puppy,'" Marcus Reitz said. “It was pretty cool to see that they were connected in that way.”

Happily Ever After was one of five charity partners of the concert invited backstage. Red Rock Productions, the promoter behind the show, donated a portion of proceeds from the concert to HEA, Fox Valley Humane Association, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, Ribbon of Hope Foundation and the American Red Cross. Each received a check for $2,500.

HEA often receives requests to bring its animals to events, but it’s not always possible, Reitz said, because sometimes an animal’s demeanor can be unpredictable or they’re still adjusting to their new environment. But Queenie was a rock star.

“She made a lot of friends (at the pre-party) and was a big hit. She kind of led the way down the hall to get to the backstage meet and greet and every person that encountered her just was, I would almost say, magnetized by her," Reitz said. "It was a special thing.”

The smart cookie she is, Queenie cozied right up to Shaw, a known animal lover who graced the cover of Atlanta Pet Life magazine last year. Rock to the Rescue, the nonprofit organization formed by Styx and REO Speedwagon, helps out charities across the country, including many animal welfare groups.

"Queenie looked at Tommy and said, ‘I think you deserve a big kiss’ and planted it right on him," Reitz said.

No arguments from Shaw.

Queenie is currently available for adoption through the HEA Adoption Center, 2255 Fox Heights Lane in Ashwaubenon. With her newfound fame, she could go fast, Reitz said.

This is the second time HEA has benefited from one of Red Rock Productions’ concerts at the Resch. In March, it was among the charities that received proceeds from the REO, 38 Special and Warrant show. Red Rock also donated to local charities from its October concert with Bad Company, Cheap Trick and Femmes of Rock.

“Having partners and community partners that realize the value of giving back like Red Rock does so generously on each one of these shows is incredibly meaningful to our community at large. It’s the fuel that makes the mission go,” Reitz said.
Since our founding in 2006, we have seen great progress in the companion animal welfare world. Needless killing in shelters continues to decline. Organizations across the country are moving toward a no-kill measure. The agreed upon no-kill measure has been defined as a 90% live release rate. Our view is that 90% isn't enough. We are determined to see the day when the remaining 10% receive continued care and love too.

Innovative solutions are produced when killing is removed from the equation.
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