Pawsathon gets bigger
Annual animal fundraiser marks 10 years
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 06:00 am
There will be a lot of fur flying and tails wagging on the trails come the first Saturday of June.
The Second Chance Animal Rescue Society – also known as SCARS – is once again hosting its annual major fundraiser called Tails on the Trails. Most people simply call it Pawsathon and it’s hitting a major milestone with its tenth anniversary this year.
Terra MacLean, operations manager and media co-ordinator with the Athabasca-based organization, said that everything looks like the event will have its best showing ever.
“It looks like it’s going to be bigger this year than for past events,” she said. “It’s growing some momentum. We’re going to have more booths and activities so it’s looking pretty good.”
The event brings in much needed pledges and draws attention to helping fight pet abandonment, helping sick and injured animals, and working towards long-term solutions to Alberta’s pet overpopulation problem.
The volunteer-run agency operates throughout all of Northern Alberta, taking in stray and abandoned dogs, cats and other domesticated creatures from communities that don’t have their own animal pounds or other facilities to deal with unwanted pets or pets on the loose.
“We’ve had everything from birds and bunnies to horses, even a goat. These are from pounds or from communities that don’t have facilities to look after them … so we have to collect them ourselves. That’s where we focus our main endeavours,” she continued.
These animals would likely get euthanized if it weren’t for SCARS.
“Those dogs are left victim to ‘nobody claims them, nobody wants them, where do we put them?’ They can’t just all be funnelled into one location. Nobody can intake that many dogs.”
She added that many of the smaller communities that SCARS helps include Morinville and Westlock as well as those farther north like Calling Lake, Wabasca, Red Earth, Slave Lake and Athabasca, of course.
SCARS accepts an average of 800 dogs and 260 cats each year, and MacLean said that it has a 100 per cent success rate.
“Our statistics are really, really good. I think only two per cent were returned to owner and the rest were adopted out or are currently in our program.”
The main event
Pledges are coming in for the volunteer-run organization’s major fundraiser.
“It’s going really well. It’s coming together quite nicely. There’s lots of stuff going on.”
It raises an average of $20,000 but this year could beat that, especially with some sweet prizes and incentives, including a team prize of dinner for 10 at Famoso in West Edmonton Mall.
“It’s one of our major, major fundraisers. We count on that all year long. It’s a pretty big event – pretty important event – for us.”
In addition to the dog walk around the Sturgeon River on the Red Willow trails, there will be an adoption event. MacLean also hopes that much attention will be drawn to the need for more volunteers to help out. That includes people who can offer their residences to become foster homes.
“Cat and dog foster homes are essential to us.”