Since their inceptions, Save a Life Pet Rescue and A New Beginning Pet Care & Rescue have been dedicated to rescuing animals and finding new homes for them. This weekend, they are joining forces once again to raise money toward these efforts.
Together, they will be hosting the first Paws Fest 2012 Arts and Crafts Festival at 3680 Avalon Park East Blvd. in Orlando. The goal of the event will be to raise funds and obtain donations to go toward the cause of saving animals’ lives. Anna Yost, vice president of Save a Life Pet Rescue, said her organization is working toward creating a “no-kill” facility, which means that animals will not be euthanized there. She said a lack of funding is preventing her from doing this.
“We just don’t have the funding. We take in the mommas and the puppies, and they cost so much medically that we’re just unable to save for a facility like that,” she said. “We don’t have outside donators; we’re not government funded; we basically run off of our adoption donations and that’s it.”
The event will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. There will be food vendors, games, live music, as well as art from local artists. Yost said there will be animal adoptions at the event, T-shirts for people to buy and many other ways to donate at the event.
“We always take monetary donations. They go straight toward the animals,” she said. “Any type of puppy food that people want to donate, bleach, old towels that we can use for any animals, blankets, just about anything. Anything that we can use we’ll absolutely take.”
Abby Blum, founder and director of A New Beginning Pet Care & Rescue, said there are many factors individuals should take into consideration when deciding to adopt an animal, such as spaying and neutering. She said her organization has placed more than 10,000 animals in new homes. She also noted that cats are particularly in need of assistance.
“I think there’s more cats that are homeless than dogs because there’s a lot of feral colonies,” Blum said. “I get at least 35 to 40 calls a day for cats. There’s kittens everywhere.”
Yost said the idea for the event came together through discussions with A New Beginning Pet Care & Rescue.
“We’ve been trying for a couple of years to put something together, and we just could not figure out what we wanted to do,” Yost said. “We partnered with A New Beginning, who we’ve been working with since day one, since we were formed as a rescue, and over cocktails, it just kind of happened.”
Many organizations are volunteering to lend a hand to this event. Vu Tran, animals coordinator for Volunteer UCF, said her organization will have more than 21 volunteers out there to assist with the event.
“I’ve known Save a Life [Pet Rescue] for a while now, and I asked them if they had any big event that they needed help for,” Tran said.
Yost said about 99 percent of the animals her organization puts up for adoption come from shelters that euthanize animals, and that 1 percent is surrendered by the owners. She said her organization typically finds homes for animals that aren’t adopted.
“They mostly go to foster homes," Yost said. “We do have a pretty big house. Unfortunately, if we have mommas and puppies that need round-the-clock care, or an animal that has just been released from the hospital, we take that on ourselves. We take them home, and we care for them, 24 hours a day.”
Yost said that one must carefully consider their life plans when choosing to adopt an animal.
“You need to take into consideration ‘what are your next plans for the next seven to 12 years?’ An animal is not disposable," Yost said. "That’s why there are so many rescues and there are so many pounds out there.”
For more information on Paws Fest 2012, visit www.pawsfest2012.com.