Running for rescues

I’ve recently had the privilege of interacting with some inspiring young people who care about animals. It makes me hopeful for the future knowing these young people will make a difference in our community and in the lives of the vulnerable animals who need them.

One of the most fascinating people I’ve had the pleasure of learning about is Stratford Academy sophomore Sara Kate Durkee. She had her family have devoted the past six years to fostering rescues, many of whom were sick and not socialized.

It takes a special person to foster one dog or cat, but for a family to foster about 40 dogs and cats, some with special needs, in the past six years is amazing. Sara Kate and her family keep the pets from six to eight weeks to nurse them back to both physical and emotional health. They have been able to witness incredible progress time and time again.

One such case was Sadie, the black lab mix who suffered from dreaded parvo. If you’re familiar with parvo you know there are not many survivors. But under Sara Kate’s and her family’s care, Sadie not only survived but also thrived and was adopted by a family in Maine. Sadie meant so much to the Durkee family they visited her in Maine while on vacation.

In addition to caring for animals, Sara Kate wanted to expand her knowledge of leadership as well. So she voluntarily took a three-month Capstone Leadership class to learn new skills and to enhance her understanding of leadership characteristics.

As a part of the class students were required to develop a project. There was no question about the nature of Sara Kate’s project. She would combine her love for running with her love for rescues and create a race to benefit animals named Doggie Dash 5K Trail Run.

So at 9 a.m. May 12, folks will gather on the beautiful campus of the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home at 4690 Mumford Road in Macon to walk or run on the scenic trails to benefit Critical Care for Animal Angels and Reid Rescue. Participants are also asked to bring a bag of dog or cat food that will be donated to Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare’s food pantry.

Registration fees through May 4 are $18 for ages 18 and younger and $20 for everyone else. Race day fees are a little more so register in advance at

If you’re not available or able to participate that day you can register as a phantom runner and have your registration fee donated to the rescues. It just doesn’t get any easier than that to help animals.

I am always delighted to promote events or functions that benefit animals. I’m especially eager to promote and recognize the hard work of a caring, compassionate young person like Sara Kate.

Send questions to Visit or like his Facebook page at AC Pup – Central Georgia CARES.