by Abbie Bennett
The first-annual Trails for Tails 5K Oct. 13 will benefit two Matthews-based animal nonprofits: SAFE Animal Haven and Cat Rescue Coalition.
The event at the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte begins at 7 a.m. with packet pickup and race day registration, with the 5K trail race starting at 8 a.m.; a one-mile dog walk at 8:30 a.m. and a 10 a.m. awards presentation, music and vendors.
Trails for Tails will be a major fundraising event benefiting Road to Home and Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love that will help with costs associated for the care of rescued dogs, while looking for loving homes, said Beth Addison, executive director for Road to Home Canine Refuge – A Dog Rescue Coalition.
“The event will feature not only the 5K, but also a one-mile dog walk for dogs and their humans,” she said. “After the race, stick around as we will have a variety of vendors and rescues to provide education and awareness on animal welfare as well as healthy living for you and your dog.”
Beth Brown, co-founder of SAFE Animal Haven in Matthews, said SAFE is excited to participate in the event.
“The event provides exposure for our group and enlightens the public about the plight of animals in our society,” she said. “It provides an opportunity for us to share our message about the plight of homeless, abandoned, abused and neglected animals in our community.”
SAFE Animal Haven is a small nonprofit rescue group originating in Matthews nearly a decade ago. SAFE will have a booth at the event and will be a rescue vendor, sharing information about rescued animals and the organization.
Addison said educating the community is of great importance to emphasize the need for adoptions as opposed to supporting the industry of animal purchasing.
“As this is a fundraiser, we are also using the platform as an awareness raiser on animal rescue and animal welfare issues,” she said. “Many of our dogs come to us when they have been used for breeding and are no longer needed, when they have special needs, when the family is impacted financially, or simply don’t want to be bothered anymore. Many are abused and neglected, or left to die.”
Addison said once a dog comes to the organization, it is placed in foster care where it is carefully evaluated in a home setting, including observations on interactions with children, other animals and strangers so that when potential adopters apply, the animals are put into the best homes.
Brown echoed Addison, saying that the chance to educate the community was key to SAFE’s participation.
“We like being given the opportunity to educate the public about our beliefs and philosophies,” she said. “We enjoy talking with people from all backgrounds during events such as these because this becomes an educational opportunity for us too. We enjoy networking with and supporting other rescue groups in a variety of venues.”
Brown said the camaraderie at events like Trails for Tails is important to the rescue community.
“All of us rescue for the same reason, and although philosophies may vary, the core of our programs are the same — we are in it to save the animals and bring about a day when every pet has a home,” she said. “Events such as these allows groups to network and share ideas. Often after these events, we have another resource in which we can contact and work with in difficult situations. Each group brings their own expertise and will share stories, resources and successful methodologies which enable us to continue in our mission.”
Brown said SAFE is eagerly anticipating the event.
“Our rescued babies get to enjoy the sunshine and socialization with other dogs and people. It’s a win – win situation.”
Want to go?
For more information or to register, visit www.trailsfortails5k.com or call 803-242-8749.
For more information on SAFE Animal Haven, visit www.safeanimalhaven.com.
For more information on Cat Rescue Coalition, call Jennifer Ream at 704-762-6696.