Pets

Perfect pet lineup

Ashley VanAken, 15, walks by the judges with her ferret Mike during the 60th annual Museum of Arts and Sciences Pet Show at Northside Coliseum Hospital in 2016.
Ashley VanAken, 15, walks by the judges with her ferret Mike during the 60th annual Museum of Arts and Sciences Pet Show at Northside Coliseum Hospital in 2016. jvorhees@macon.com

If it’s not raining Sunday you will want to be with my nonprofit animal group, Central Georgia CARES, at 2 p.m. as we participate in the Museum of Arts and Sciences’ 62nd annual Pet Show on the lawn of beautiful Coliseum Northside Hospital. If it’s raining though, we’ll meet up with you next year since the animals planning to attend are all so sweet, especially in the petting zoo, they would surely melt if caught in a rain shower.

CARES will be providing a low-cost vaccine clinic so you can have your personal pets vaccinated against dreaded diseases and save money. We’ll be offering rabies shots for both dogs and cats for only $12. We’ll offer other vaccines for $12 each and the FVRCP/FeLV kitty shot for $20. The vaccine clinic will run from 2-3:30 p.m.

Remember to bring your dog on a leash with a secure non-slip collar and your kitty in a safe carrier. Also, pick up a bag of dog or cat food or both and bring to us so we can continue to feed animals in need.

There will be great contests to enter your pet in such as Best Dressed, Best Behaved, Cutest Walk and Most Unique. The winner of those will compete for Best in Show. It will be something you won’t want to miss.

I am so excited about meeting the Freedom Fidos and seeing a demonstration of tasks they’re trained to do. The noble work they’re doing to help our disabled veterans, especially those with traumatic brain injuries, is amazing. CARES has a special appreciation for our veterans and the sacrifices they made to keep us safe.

If you’re not familiar with the Freedom Fidos, the founder, a veteran who is 100 percent disabled, trains dogs to become service dogs for the veterans. They can help veterans with shopping, tasks around the house and alert to medical situations.

You might think the dogs trained to provide these services are exceptionally gifted purebred dogs raised for this specific purpose. But here’s what’s so incredible: the dogs are all rescues from shelters.

The dogs trained by the Freedom Fidos are all dogs who, for some reason or another, were no longer wanted by their families and surrendered to the pound, strays on the street who were picked up by animal control or otherwise deemed undesirable dogs who ended up in a shelter. It warms my heart to know the Freedom Fidos organization recognizes the potential of forgotten treasures that are trembling in kennels around our country every day feeling like they have no hope.

What a blessing to match a loving rescue who has been given a second chance with a precious veteran who needs him. The dog now has a purpose in life and the veteran has a companion to help him on his journey.

So unless it’s raining Sunday, come see all my CARES family who will be giving shots and can probably be found chatting with the Freedom Fidos folks. See you then!

Send questions to acpup247@yahoo.com. Visit www.acpup.com or like his Facebook page at AC Pup – Central Georgia CARES.

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