A coalition of area rescue groups and Iredell County Animal Services is joining forces for an event to focus on adoption and education.
The Rescue Roundup will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Iredell County Fairgrounds, 630 N. Main St., Troutman.
“It’s going to be great,” said Kristian Hernandez, Iredell County Animal Services director.
The Rescue Roundup will feature 10 rescue organizations and four shelters, said Donald Gullett, development director for Piedmont Animal Rescue, one of the sponsors of the roundup.
Gullett said the roundup will also feature eight food trucks and more than 200 vendors.
And entertainment is on the bill as well as K9s in Flight, a Florida-based group that showcases rescue dogs catching Frisbees and other agility-type demonstrations. K9s in Flight began in 1990, said founder John Misita and was thanks to a pit bull/retriever mix that he adopted.
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C.J., he said, was the runt of the litter and he learned the owners planned to take the dog to the pound. A year later, Misita said, he noticed C.J.’s skill at catching tennis balls. Eventually C.J.’s prowess led Misita to start K9s in Flight, and he vowed to use only rescue dogs.
And it’s fitting that rescue dogs will be showcased at an event that aims to educate about adoption.
There will be plenty of animals for those attending the roundup to take a look at and possibly adopt, Gullett said.
Any adoptions will be subject to the particular organization’s normal policies, Gullett said.
He said the event is open to nearly any animal. “This is not just for cats and dogs,” he said. PAR, he said, currently has a horse and two donkeys in its program.
While the roundup is being held in the hopes of finding forever homes for shelter and rescue animals, organizers hope to educate as well.
Tracy Dixon, public outreach coordinator at Iredell Animal Services, said information will be available about the foster and volunteer programs at the shelter.
And, Hernandez said, he hopes the event can lead to a better understanding by the public on what the shelter does. “We want to push public education and let people know what we do and why we do it,” he said.
Hernandez said he believes the Rescue Roundup can accomplish that goal as well as help animals find homes. He was involved in a similar event in California, he said. “It was a big success,” he said.
And Gullett is optimistic that this inaugural roundup will be a big success as well.
Joining as many rescue groups and shelters as possible in one place, he said, means more animals can be saved. “This gets everybody on the same page,” he said. “We all have the same mission.”
The response from those organizations, Gullett said, has convinced him this event should become an annual one.
Anyone planning to attend is welcome to bring their own dog.
Admission will be $2 and parking at the fairgrounds will be $5 with that fee being collected by and for the Lake Norman High School band.
Anyone interested in a vendor slot can contact Gullett at 704-662-2904.