The 2nd Annual Animal Rescue 5K/1K Fun Run Dog Trot will return to Cherokee County on Sept. 1.
Proceeds from the run, hosted by Green Pets America and Zone 5 Events, will benefit Green Pets America Humane Society, which shelters some of the animals at Top Tails Pet Center in Towne Lake.
The race route begins and ends at Hopewell Baptist Church at 75 Ridge Road in Canton.
Registration before Aug. 24 is $20. Participants wishing to register after Aug. 24 through race day will pay $25. Registration on race day will start at 6:30 a.m.
“Phantom runners,” or those who want to purchase a T-shirt without participating, can also pay $20.
The 1K will start at 8 a.m. and the 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m.
“It’s a great experience and I encourage participants to bring along their dogs,” Race Director Bill Monahan said. “Dogs can participate in the 5K race as well, which is something new this year.”
For those not interested in running, Monahan said there will be an opportunity for people to adopt pets.
Monahan said about a dozen dogs will be available for adoption. At last year’s event, about half a dozen dogs found new homes and families.
Monahan said the race raised $8,000 and about 300 people participated in the festivities.
Founded in 2010 by Monahan’s father, Steve Monahan, Green Pets America is a Canton-based animal rescue nonprofit organization that rehabilitates and finds shelters for homeless pets in Cherokee and surrounding counties.
Green Pets Executive Director Kristen Butler said the organization tries to reduce the number of euthanizations by placing animals in loving homes.
Each week, dogs and cats are taken to Green Pets America’s 20-acre campus where the organization rehabilitates them.
“We take all kinds of dogs, not just purebreds or puppies,” Butler said. “Every animal needs an opportunity to belong in a loving, carefree environment which they call home.”
Donations to the organization help cover the cost to rescue, vaccinate, feed, house, spay or neuter, microchip and re-socialize each animal rescued from shelters that practice euthanization.
Along with money, GPA also accepts donated crates, collars, leashes, blankets and dog toys.
“The biggest thing we need and could really use besides money is foster homes,” Butler said. “We could collect large amounts of money, but if we don’t have a place for them to go then we are out of luck.”
After the dogs are rehabilitated, they are placed into volunteer homes or at Top Tails Pet Center in Towne Lake.
Butler added dogs are constantly rotating in and out of Top Tails, noting no dog stays there for more than five or six days.
The drive to collect much-needed revenue comes at an hard time as many people continue to weather an uncertain economy. As the economy has taken a plunge over the last few years, the number of homeless animals have spiked.
“We have more dogs than ever because of the recession and the economy,” Butler said. “People are failing to realize how badly the recession is affecting dogs. So many people are losing their jobs and being forced to move in with family or into apartments. The problem is they can’t take their dogs with them.”
Both Butler and Monahan hope the community comes out in full support of their efforts.
“It’s very good for the dogs to experience a variety of people coming in and loving on them,” Butler said. “It allows them to reestablish a sense of trust and sociability.”