Richmond County Animal Advocates is gearing up for its inaugural pet walk, the “Mutt Strutt,” this Sunday, May 19, at Hinson Lake in Rockingham.
The pet walk is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. (rain date is June 2). The donation for the walk will be $10, which will be used to aid the organization as it continues to help Richmond County animals. This year’s event has been sponsored in part by the Dieffenbach GM Superstore in Rockingham.
Since its inception five months ago, the non-profit 401c3 has helped re-home, rescue, vet and feed more than 100 animals in the county.
“Our goal is to keep the animals out of the shelter, because we know the shelter just doesn’t have the resources to ensure they won’t be euthanized,” said Allison Sweatt, program director of RCAA.
Sweatt, who helped spearhead previous Petfest Walk for Animals events on behalf of the Humane Society of Richmond County, plans to use this fund raising spin-off as a way to keep contributing to the people and animals in Richmond County.
“We understand that sometimes people need help caring for pets, and we are here to provide assistance for when times get hard, “ said Sweatt, who left her previous position as HSRC director to start RCAA.
She said monies raised thus far through other fund raising activities have been used for vetting, spay neuter and pet food purchases for county residents in need of assistance in order to keep their animals, and to help stray animals stay out of the shelter.
“We’re hoping this event will be our biggest fund raiser to date, and give folks in this county the chance to meet our volunteers and see what we’re all about,” she said.
Sweatt said she plans to keep the event very similar to the previous Petfest walk that people are familiar with.
“Sponsor signs will be placed along the walking trail, and participants in the walk can either come check out the pets and vendors or take a stroll around the shaded trail,” she said.
At previous pet walk events planned by Sweatt, animal lovers gathered at the lake trails to show off their pets and contribute to helping less fortunate animals. In addition to food and novelty vendors, the event will host a nail trimming booth by Aunt Tessie’s Pet Boutique and a microchip clinic on site.
“Creative Eye photography, owned by Sarah Ferguson and Tammy Bundy, has volunteered to take photos of pets and their owners at the lake,” said Sweatt. “They do beautiful photos, and we think pet lovers will get a kick out of their photo booth.”
The group’s co-founder, Whitney Knowlton, who is founder and executive director of Last Chance Animal Rescue, said she’s excited about the impact RCAA is already having within the county.
“Allison Sweatt is a compassionate and creative leader in this community and it is my job to see to it that she gets all the support she needs to be successful at making Richmond County a safe place to be an animal,” said Knowlton.
To donate to RCAA or contact the group regarding sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, call 910-331-6275 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail RCAA, P.O. Box 2652 Rockingham, NC, 28380.