The dogs and cats at Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption need your help. They'd love to have a new home, but if adoption isn't an option, there's another way you can get involved.
On Sunday, Sept. 23, hundreds of animal lovers will show up at the second annual Paws in the Park fundraiser at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. You can register to walk with your dog, or just come for the fun.
Heather Malone, chairwoman for Paws in the Park, said there's a lot going on at this year's event, and there will be fun for the whole family.
"We have a huge kids' area this year that consists of a bunch of bouncy houses and an obstacle course. We're going to do a scavenger hunt, there's face painting and a whole bunch of kids activities," Malone said.
But the best part of the event? That would be the dog demonstrations.
"We've got agility, we've got K-9 nose work and we've got police dogs, so they'll come and show off their stuff, which is really cool to see," Malone said.
Malone, who volunteers at Atlanta Pet Rescue, said the event is her pet project. All the money raised goes right back into Atlanta Pet Rescue, which is dedicated to finding homes for abandoned dogs and cats who might otherwise be euthanized.
Judy Price, Atlanta Pet Rescue's director and founder, said the event is important to keep the shelter open.
"It costs a lot to operate the shelter, pay the staff. We're not like government-run facilities like animal control is, where taxpayers pay for the building and the lights and the vehicles and the employee insurance and all the things that go into running a business. We have to pay it all ourselves," Price said.
Atlanta Pet Rescue cares for anywhere from 50 to 70 dogs and 10 to 12 cats at any given time. Incoming animals are given a health exam, are spayed or neutered and the dogs are taught basic commands they'll need to fit right into a loving home.
"We look for dogs that we think will make good family pets," Price said. "We look for dogs that are pretty calm and ready to snuggle up."
But finding good homes for the dogs and cats of Atlanta Pet Rescue wouldn't happen without a dedicated staff and a team of volunteers who care for the animals year-round.
"We just make the animals as happy as we can make them here and give them the best life that they can have for being homeless," said shelter manager Laura Linneman. "We provide them with toys, blankets; they have lots of enrichment programs. So all the donations go to giving them the best home we can give them until they find their forever home."
Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption has rescued nearly 16,000 pets, and with the public's help, they can rescue many more.
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