Atlantans strut their mutts for a good cause

With over 800 participants and 600 dogs, Atlantans and their four-legged friends attended the first ever Strut Your Mutt fundraiser held on Sept. 24 at the Historic Fourth Ward Park. The event brought together animal rescue groups, animal shelters and individuals to celebrate the collective effort of saving the lives of shelter pets and to provide a platform for humane groups and individuals to fundraise for their organization of choice.

“The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets,” said Judah Battista, chief regional programs officer of Best Friends Animal Society. “We are the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters, and also have lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,600 rescue groups and shelters across the country.”

At Atlanta’s Strut Your Mutt event, 16 groups participated to raise money for their respective causes. The organizations keep every cent they raise and the goal for Atlanta is $50,000 - with the fundraiser ending on Oct. 31.

The group dog walk and family-friendly festival afterwards made for a very fun, celebratory day for the participants, their friends and family and their dogs. And bringing Best Friends Animal Society to Atlanta will help the Salt Lake City, UT-based organization to find forever homes for dogs and cats.

To support the Atlanta chapter, Amanda Blair, senior manager of Best Friends - Atlanta, encourages animal lovers or those close to this cause to give back to Best Friends through donations or service. Other opportunities include volunteering to care for or foster the animals at Best Friends Atlanta, attend adoption events or participate in Strut Your Mutt.

“These animals are, in large, healthy and adoptable, and would make someone a wonderful lifetime companion,” added Blair. “By making the community aware of this problem and involved with the solution, we can reach a goal of having no more homeless pets in our country.”

Since 2010, Best Friends has raised more than $7.2 million for its animal welfare partners through Strut Your Mutt.