Oct. 23rd is a big day for animals that need a home. The Tucson Premium Outlets mall is having three events that will let people have some fun, help animals in need and even adopt a homeless pet.
The first event is a Strut Your Mutt Stroll or 5K that lets people bring out their dogs and cats in style. This is a chance to get some exercise while raising money for a good cause. Participants can also shop at the new Rescue Me Marana Adoption Center and Boutique owned and operated by Rescue Me Tucson. The event goes from 8 to 10 a.m.
Strut Your Mutt is an official event of the Best Friends Animal Society. People across the country can opt to have local events and the money can go to whatever local animal welfare organization of their choice. The Rescue Me Tucson team has a goal of raising $15,000. The money will go to helping save the lives of homeless pets in Southern Arizona.
Dawn Vandaveer has been a board member for three years and works with the Development and Marketing for Rescue Me Tucson. She has been planning the Strut Your Mutt event for the past couple years and is excited to see the event come to life.
“Rescue Me Marana is a non-profit whose purpose is to help existing shelters and rescues help get their animals adopted,” Vandaveer said. “We are all about collaboration and we have coordinated an entire day for that purpose to help homeless animals find their forever homes. We are the first organization in the Tucson area to bring the Strut Your Mutt event and are so happy to do this.”
2021 is the first in-person Strut Your Mutt event in the Tucson area with 2020 featuring a virtual walk.
Rescue Me Marana is also teaming up with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to host a pop up Adopt Love, Adopt Local adoption event. This event is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Main Courtyard near the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall’s Food Court. There will be local dog rescues and local cat rescues on-site.
Thousands of pets are dropped at shelters each year. Adopt Love, Adopt Local works to connect local shelters and potential adopters to help as many pets as possible get a home.
Anyone who is unable to adopt a pet can still help by becoming a sponsor or volunteer.
That evening, Rescue Me Marana will host a Yappy Meower from 5 to 7 p.m. in front of their store front. This is a pet-friendly mocktail happy hour for people and their furry friends.
Nancy Wright is the Rescue Me Tucson board president and has worked for years to help open the Rescue Me Marana storefront and provide support to help homeless animals in rural communities get access to critical veterinary care.
“I’m from a rural area in New Mexico so I know how important it is to help counties that might not even have a veterinarian,” Wright said. “What keeps me motivated is seeing how hard our visiting vets work to help as many animals as possible when they go to rural areas in Southern Arizona. Sometimes they will see 100 animals a day and go to a location every day in a single week. That’s 700 animals that are getting help that might not otherwise.”
Wright said the mission of Rescue Me Tucson is to collaborate with other shelters and rescues so they can get the assistance they need. That can involve bringing animals from rural shelters to a bigger city like Tucson so there are more options for people to adopt them. Wright remembers the struggles shelters faced in the area she grew up so it pushes her to assist where she can in the local area.
The Rescue Me Marana pet adoption center opened at the Tucson Premium Outlet mall on Sept. 18. It features eight cat condos and five dog kennels that allow different rescue groups to showcase available animals for adoption in one central place. ν
For more information on any of the events check out the Rescue Me Tucson Facebook page.