(ANIMAL ACTIVISTS) Every day, approximately 9,000 homeless pets are euthanized. The national non-profit organization, Best Friends Animal Society, is implementing no-kill programs and partnerships to support adoption and public spay/neuter programs in order to save these shelter animals. Last year, the organization raised $700,000 through the Strut Your Mutt fundraiser that includes a fun dog walk, dog yoga (“doga”), spa services and free treats for pets, and more. Adoptable pets will also be available on site. With more than 180 groups in the No More Homeless Pets® Network participating in the events and 8,000 registrants across the nine cities, Best Friends Animal Society hopes to raise $1 million this year. Read on for more on the event and how you can participate or donate. — Global Animal
Strut Your Mutt will be taking place in nine cities—Portland, Austin, Baltimore, Jacksonville, St. Louis, Lafayette, New York, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Photo Credit: Utahpets.org

Petside.com, Lavanya Sunkara

“Wow, look at those eyes!” – I hear this almost every time I walk my pretty blue and brown eyed mutt. 

“What breed is she?” immediately follows. I can only speculate as to her breed because I adopted her from a shelter. Rescue pets are amazing, and I couldn’t have asked for a better animal companion. My dog Indu is smart, healthy, playful and beautiful. With a blend of Shepherd, Collie, and/or Husky, my pretty pooch sure turns heads. This September, I can’t wait to show her off at the Best Friends Animal Society’s annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser.

Every day, 9,000 pets are destroyed in America due to lack of homes. Best Friends Animal Society, a national non-profit organization implementing no-kill programs and partnerships to bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®, started Strut Your Mutt 17 years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah in collaboration with local rescue groups. Three years ago, Strut Your Mutt events expanded to New York and Los Angeles. This year, on September 22nd and 29th, Strut Your Mutt will be taking place in nine cities—Portland, Austin, Baltimore, Jacksonville, St. Louis, Lafayette, New York, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

Last year, Best Friends Animal Society raised $700,000 through Strut Your Mutt. The goal this year is to raise $1 million to support adoption and public spay/neuter programs with the ultimate goal of saving more shelter animals. This year, Best Friends has more than 180 groups in the No More Homeless Pets® Network participating in Strut Your Mutt events across the country and is expecting more than 8,000 registrants in the nine participating cities.  

Participating individuals can set up fundraising pages on Strut Your Mutt’s website to collect donations for the rescue group(s) of their choice. If individuals want to support a participating Network Partner, they can join the group’s “dog pack” (aka team). Registrants can customize the fundraising page by featuring a photo of their pet, write a personal message and upload a video.

Jamie Lyn Rubin, Best Friends Animal Society’s New York programs manager said, “We have had participating groups who relayed to us they actually raised almost their entire annual budget on just this one fundraising walk. What a truly moving experience it is to know that we are giving these groups a tremendous boost in their efforts to save animal lives.”

Those who live in non-participating states can virtually partake in “Strut Across America”. Virtual participants pay a reduced fee, which is counted as a donation, and can also set up a fundraising page. Of all the fundraisers, the individual who raises the most money will have his/her picture along with their dog featured in the Best Friends Magazine and on the 2013 Strut Your Mutt t-shirts.

At Strut Your Mutt events, activities include a fun dog walk with fellow animal lovers, doggie yoga (aka doga), massage, and spa services for the pooch. Free treats, music and entertainment make the event all the more fun. Adoptable pets from participating rescue groups will be available on site. Keep a look out for dogs wearing “Adopt Me” bandanas and vests if you are on the market for a new furry friend.

Jamie Lyn Rubin said, “Everyone becomes friendly at our events. Best Friends volunteers help other groups and food companies donate goodies for the dogs and cats. Connecting local pet-related businesses, volunteers, participants and local rescues through this fun event, and getting to watch them continue to support each other in their efforts to help animals is so rewarding.” 

An event that’s saving animal lives is indeed quite rewarding. My dog and I can’t wait to show our support at Strut Your Mutt this September. 

Register for the event or donate to a participant at the Strut Your Mutt website. You can also volunteer to help Best Friends Animal Society’ participating groups in your city on the day of the event.

More Petside.com: http://www.petside.com/article/best-friends-animal-society-helping-pets