Gearing up for Strut Your Mutt 2014
Best Friends Animal Society held the first Strut Your Mutt animal welfare fundraising event almost 20 years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since then, it has grown from a hometown favorite to an annual mega-fundraising machine, helping shelters and rescue groups make a real difference for pets across the country. This year the event will be staged in 12 cities, where people can get together and raise money for their favorite local animal organization.
Participating groups in Strut Your Mutt are partners in the No More Homeless Pets Network, a Best Friends program to help rescue organizations and municipal shelters across the country end the killing of dogs and cats in our nation’s shelters. Last year more than 13,000 participants raised nearly $1.7 million for homeless pets across the country, and people are already working to make this year just as successful.
Rain or shine
Christine Falletti of Half Moon Bay, California, has been a local volunteer at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, but her passion mushroomed two years ago, soon after she adopted Jinx, a chiweenie (Chihuahua-dachshund mix), from the Milo Foundation. The sociable pup inspired Christine to become involved with Strut Your Mutt; last year she raised $1,035 for the Milo Foundation at the Strut Your Mutt event in San Francisco.
By using Facebook, she was able to reach many more people who cared about the work of the Milo Foundation. “People who know me know my passion, but what shocked me was the generosity from people I didn’t know personally,” says Christine. “I think they contributed because it’s not about me. It’s about raising money for animals in need.”
This year, Christine once again is raising money for the Milo Foundation, but she also has inspired Muttville to join the Network and participate. “Last year it poured rain during the event in San Francisco, but everyone was so happy,” says Christine. “This isn’t some party you pay to go to. This is community engagement, where you’re with your fellow animal advocates actively making a difference.”
Generous hearts helping paws
Entering its third year, the Strut Your Mutt event in Jacksonville, Florida, provides local organizations with the opportunity to raise funds to help pets live healthy, happy lives. To that end, Sandy Golding, of St. Francis Animal Hospital, is excited about leading her team to another fundraising victory.
St. Francis Animal Hospital helps pets stay in their homes by providing all types of low-cost medical services. As development director, Sandy is committed to saving the homeless pets of the area through collaboration with Jacksonville Humane Society, First Coast No More Homeless Pets and Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services.
To reach her fundraising goal, Sandy’s dog, Coconut, is asking for donations in lieu of presents for her 16th birthday. Sandy is also upping the ante for her team members by providing prizes for the team’s top fundraisers. “Last year we had a beach getaway, but this year we’re giving out three prizes,” says Sandy. Prizes, she notes, help to get the business community on-board alongside the pet-loving community.
Sandy says Strut Your Mutt is one of the easiest ways to raise funds for animal organizations.. “Best Friends gives organizations and individuals the tools to raise a lot of money, and the turnkey website means you can spend more time doing the fun stuff and less time on record-keeping and spreadsheets. It’s all done for you.”
From coast to coast, Strut Your Mutt continues to play a leading role in funding animal welfare organizations around the country while, at the same time, making it possible for animal lovers to work together to Save Them All.
To join or donate to Strut Your Mutt, click here.
In addition to the 12 participating Strut Your Mutt cities, there’s a virtual event so no matter where you live you can help raise money for animals in need.
Photos by David Oliver and courtesy of Christine Falletti and Sandy Golding