Dog owners in the Athens area dressed up their dogs in Halloween costumes to fundraise for sick, injured, and recently rescued cats and dogs at the local animal shelter.
The Boulevard Neighborhood Association and Athenspets partnered to host Boo-le-bark on the Boulevard on October 16th, an event featuring live music, food trucks, and 125 costumed dogs from the Athens community parading down the historic Boulevard neighborhood.
This is the first dog parade to take place in Athens, and the volunteers with Athenspets are hoping that the success of this event can lead to more events of its kind in the future. Nadine Cohen, an Athenspets volunteer and a University of Georgia librarian, said, “Athenspets is a nonprofit, and we work to get the dogs and cats adopted out of the Athens-Clarke county animal shelter… and get the number of euthanized pets down to zero.”
Cohen said the money fundraised by this event goes towards different funds through Athenspets that support animals at the Athens-Clarke county animal control. “Animal control does not have the funds to treat dogs…They have the money to stabilize the dog if they’re in really bad shape, but if the dog has a broken leg…they would have to euthanize it. Athenspets pays for that. We also have a spay and neuter fund. We spay and neuter every dog and cat in Athens’ animal control so they can be adopted much more cheaply,” Cohen said. “We’re constantly having to raise money to fund all of that.”
Allie Hughes, a University of Georgia student, said she loved seeing the dogs in the parade. When asked how she learned about the event, Hughes said, “[My friend] Melody Modarressi invited me to the event on Facebook. She was really excited about it.”
In an effort to encourage the event attendants to adopt rescue animals, Athenspets worked with the local animal control to bring three rescue dogs, all wearing bandanas reading “Adopt Me,” to the parade. Sarah Halstead, an Athens-Clarke county animal control employee, said, “We chose the dogs that have been spayed or neutered, are up to date on their rabies shots, and that do well with other dogs…they’ve been in animal control awhile.”
To learn more about Athenspets and adoptable dogs and cats, visit http://www.athenspets.net.