Our Paws in the Park dog walk and pet expo on Sept. 25 at Centennial Olympic Park was a howling good time by all reports and raised more than $140,000 for Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption’s (APRA) ongoing rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Presented by The Coca-Cola Company, the event focused on active, healthy lifestyles for humans and their pets.
Nearly 450 people registered for the dog walk, raising the majority of funds that made the event such an overwhelming success. The four French Bulldogs we rescued in July reunited to serve as honorary grand marshals, leading the walk with their new owners and foster moms.
The 5-hour expo featured more than 70 pet-related vendors and rescue groups. Among them was Victoria Stilwell Positively whose trainers worked virtually nonstop throughout the day to show dog owners how to switch from aversive collars to harnesses. Positive reinforcement training was a huge focus of the day and is an operating principle for APRA because it’s a humane and effective way of establishing a strong bond based on trust between dogs and their owners.
The canine demonstrations proved to be very popular with the crowd, estimated at over 5,000. The demos included sheep herding, agility, freestyle, Jack Russell racing, K-9 Nose Work and the modern approach to working police canines. Jefferson, a 3-year-old terrier mix saved by APRA made his official debut, showing off his well-mannered behavior, skills and fun tricks after being trained for three months by the team at K-9 Coach.
We’d like to congratulate – and thank – the following for their participation and fundraising leadership:
Karen Levy – 1stplace individual fundraiser, $7,449.78
Jonnene Nagel – 2nd place individual fundraiser, $2,179.21
Tina D’Angelo – 3rd place individual fundraiser, $2,104.23
Paces Ferry Veterinary Clinic – 1st place team winner, $4,671.50
The Coca-Cola Company – 2nd place team winner, $4,668.99
Starwood Hotels – 3rd place team winner, $2,559.31
Paces Ferry Veterinary Clinic – Vet Challenge winner, $4,671.50
We’re grateful to everyone who spent the afternoon with us. And we especially appreciate The Coca-Cola Company and all the other sponsors who made Paws in the Park possible:
• Sutherlin Nissan Mall of Georgia
• Barking Hound Village
• Blue Buffalo
• Desjoyaux Pools
• New Balance Buckhead
• Paces Ferry Veterinary Clinic
• Powers Ferry Animal Hospital
• Vis-à-vis The Salon
• Live Oak Bank
• Crijo Pet Products
• Premier Pet Products
• Classic Tents
• Southwest Airlines
• Loews Atlanta Hotel
• Victoria Stilwell Positively
• 97.1 The River and Cox Media Group
With glowing reviews and by surpassing our original goal of raising $100,000, Paws in the Park is poised to become an annual event and primary fundraiser for APRA. We look forward to announcing a date and plans for the second annual Paws in the Park soon!
In the meantime, please visit the website of Leesia Teh Photography to view her photos from the event. Leesia’s amazing pet photography is featured on the APRA website and in our 2012 calendar. If you spot your pooch in the mix, you can order prints, but be sure to do so ASAP because the proofs will be posted only until Oct. 13. And to thank people for supporting APRA, Leesia is offering a 40-percent discount off the regular price. Click here to access the Paws in the Park gallery.