ROCKINGHAM — Officials say that the Richmond County Animal Advocates’ 2014 Mutt Strut event on Sunday at Hinson Lake turned out to be a true success.
Allison Sweatt, director of RCAA, said the event raised more than $3,300 for the group more than three times what was raised last year.
Sweatt said the money is important to the animals here in Richmond County. Proceeds go directly towards the care of animals in the county, including veterinarian bills. RCAA doesn’t have a facility for the animals, the group instead works with the Richmond County Animal Shelter and the Humane Society to make sure at risk animals get the best care possible and are placed in good homes.
Sweatt considered Sunday’s event essential for all animals because it helps teach social skills.
“Today is a day for dog lovers to show off their mutt,” Sweat said. “It’s a fun event to allow other animals to get together and socialize. Socialization is a big thing, especially for dogs. They are pack animals. Here owners can bring their dogs out in a controlled environment and see how well they interact with other animals.”
It was a service that many people utilized as dogs of all shapes and sizes were introduced for the first time.
Saundra Chappell, of Hamlet and owner of Saundra’s K-9 Beauty Salon, used the opportunity to bring her lab, Cricket, out to see how she would do with other dogs.
“I usually bring my smaller dogs to events like this,” Chappell said. “I wanted to see how she would do around other dogs she hasn’t met. Plus, it is a really good cause, and I wanted to donate to it.”
Chappell had a time keeping up with Cricket as the 3-year-old dog was curious about every dog she approached.
The opportunity for dog socialization doesn’t end with the Mutt Strut event. Sweatt also plans to hold a class at The Hive Recreation Center, at 107 Mill Road in East Rockingham. The class will be called “Bark and Play.”
“People need to prepare in case they are unable to keep their dog forever,” Sweatt said. “A well behaved dog, or animal, is much easier to place, and it’s important that every animal has a good home.”
For information on the class, contact The Hive at 910-434-8107. For those interested in donating to RCAA, donations can be sent to P.O. Box 2652, Rockingham, NC 28380.