Last week, I got some super exciting news (and of course I have to write about it!) The Strut Your Mutt committee asked me to be their honorary ribbon cutter for the 2016 Strut Your Mutt event in St. Louis! I am honored and excited to have Gateway Pet Guardians’ amazing work acknowledged at this fantastic event!
For those of you that know me, you know that Best Friends Animal Society is one of my favorite organizations to support. Each year, I attend the annual No More Homeless Pets (hosted by Best Friends). I bring back new ideas and trends in our life-saving industry to our local community and try to emulate them! BFAS (Best Friends Animal Society) was founded by 20 individuals in the 80’s to raise awareness of homeless animals and save their precious lives. Since that time, they have become the leader in the no-kill revolution. They lead no-kill initiatives throughout the United States and assist groups like ours to work toward no-kill in our community. (Currently, we even have one of their Senior Legislative Attorneys helping us with a no-kill resolution for St. Clair County, IL – HOW EXCITING IS THAT!?!) Founders at this year’s conference announced that their goal is to have a NO KILL COUNTRY BY 2025!!
In addition to their support of organizations across the country, Best Friends has been an HUGE advocate for pit bull initiatives. Their legislative team travels the country fighting Breed Specific Legislation in hopes to break down the barriers pit bull terrier type dogs have to live a long, happy life. As the most at-risk type of dog in our shelters, this is VERY IMPORTANT WORK, FOLKS! And, just another reason why I love them so! Best Friends was the organization that housed, rehabilitated and adopted out MANY of the Michael Vick fight bust dogs. As a pittie mama, I have a deep rooted love for the type of dog and an understanding of the challenges they face in society. After all, do we really know what our “pit bulls” are mixed with? And does it matter? Their giant block heads, muscular physique and goofy, long-tongued smiles just give us more reason to love them!
If you don’t love Best Friends as much as I do yet… wait, there’s more! Over the past 35+ years of existence, they have built and developed what is my happy place on earth, The Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary. I have included a link here so you can see why this place holds a piece of my heart and soul. Housing 1600 animals in Angel Canyon (Utah) ranging from kittens to pigs to horses (and much more), the sanctuary is a place every animal lover should visit once in their life! The serenity and beauty of the landscape paired with the breathtaking, life-saving work that happens there, is emotional just to think about. I have had the incredible opportunity to visit and volunteer at the sanctuary three times and each time is more impactful than the last.
Okay, back to why I am writing (I could talk about Best Friends FOREVER to anyone that wants to listen)! Strut Your Mutt is an annual event that takes place in cities across the US and I get to kick off the event this year by cutting the ribbon! Best Friends Animal Society brings this event to our towns to help support our organizations! They plan and execute the entire event. Gateway Pet Guardians simply pulls a team together and walks to support our work! And the best part… the registration fee for everyone that signs up on the GPG team, goes directly back to GPG! Sooooo, this event is a fantastic fundraiser to support OUR impactful mission.
So, what is the event? Well, it is a strut… with your mutt! You can choose to take the short route (less than a mile) or the long route (1.42 miles). After you are done strutting, there is a fun festival to enjoy that is full of things like a costume contest, kids craft activities, smooch your pooch photo booth and tons of vendors! AND, one of our very own fosters and volunteers Julie Tristan will be emceeing the event (she loves Best Friends as much as I do)!
Are you ready to join in the fun? This year’s event takes place in a few weeks, October 8, at Carondelet Park in St. Louis City. I have created my own team within the Gateway Pet Guardians’ team (yes, all money still goes directly to GPG). Click here to join my team!
Registration is $35 and includes your 2016 Strut tee shirt! And, again ALL registration funds benefit Gateway Pet Guardians! Hope to see you in a few weeks at the event. Shaun, Ella, Mardi and I will be there (Payton’s sassy butt won’t be attending and Judy Hopps is a bunny so isn’t quite invited! 🙂
Love to all,
Executive Director Gateway Pet Guardians and 2016 Honorary Ribbon Cutter for Strut Your Mutt