QUINCY -- A love for dogs prompted Michael and Kathryn Bayles to step forward Friday with two $5,000 checks to help two local humane societies.
During an open house at their restaurant -- BoodaLu MuddyDog Steakhouse -- the Quincy couple presented the $10,000 in donations to the Quincy Humane Society and the Northeast Missouri Humane Society.
Michael Bayles said he and his wife wanted to make a difference with the two agencies that go out of their way to provide shelter and care for dogs and cats in need of homes.
"Hopefully they'll use it to keep on going," Bayles said. "The people who work there are amazing."
Sally Westerhoff, executive director of the Quincy Humane Society, said the $5,000 gift "means a great deal to us" because the nonprofit agency receives no city, county or state funding and relies heavily on donations, bequests, grants and fundraisers to help pay operating expenses.
"This makes my day," Westerhoff said. "Michael and Kathy have been longtime supporters of the Humane Society, so this isn't anything new for them. They've also fostered animals for us, they've adopted from us, and they support our fundraising events. They're just incredible people."
Janet Smith, executive director of the Northeast Missouri Humane Society in Hannibal, said the Bayles' $5,000 donation "is going to enable us to have the funds to take better care of our animals."
Smith said the agency faces a lot of medical costs for treating animals, and it always needs money to provide basic necessities and some of the "enrichment things" that help make life better for dogs and cats in the agency's care.
"This will make it easier to get what the animals need," she said.
Michael Bayles said he and his wife wanted to do something as a way to give back to the community that's been so supportive of their restaurant, which is celebrating its sixth year in Quincy.
"When you're in a business, everybody is asking you for money. And we decided early on we would do two things -- animals and the arts. So we'd rather make a big impact on a couple of things than a minor impact on a thousand things."
Kathryn Bayles said their restaurant's name, BoodaLu, was based on the names of two border collie mixes the couple previously had as pets, Booda and Lulu, who are no longer alive. "They lived a long, spoiled life," she said.
She said the two local humane societies and their many volunteers "put a lot out" to benefit the animals in their care. "We need to support them," she said.