Annual Animal Rescue Day started with a simple idea, organizer says

BYRON — Celia Tamker, a sales team member for The Tractor Supply Co. at Ga. 247 and U.S. 41, looked at the grassy area outside the store and had an idea.

She thought it would be a great place to hold a pet adoption day for Middle Georgia animal rescue groups. Her store manager, Jim Anderson, also thought it was a good idea.

The supply company had been looking for a way to give back to the community, and animal rescue and adoption seemed a perfect fit, Tamker said.

After all, the store sells food for dogs and cats and feed for all sorts of other animals.

Dogs, cats, chickens, goats and donkeys are allowed inside the supply company. The store also has been visited by a miniature horse and its owner, and a parrot had its picture taken with Santa last year as part of a fundraising event for the Humane Society of Houston County, Tamker said.

“I just had an overwhelming response from the rescue groups,” Tamker said. “They are really anxious to come out and do something like this. It’s a good way to do the adoptions, get people interested in their groups, do fundraising and even get volunteers for their groups.”

The idea quickly turned into a reality, and Saturday, the supply company will host its fourth annual Animal Rescue Day from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The event will feature vendor booths set up by numerous volunteers from across Middle Georgia.

Some of the pet rescue groups expected to be on hand include Save-A-Pet, All About Animals, Greyhounds Galore, Tri-County Animal Rescue, Georgia Equine Rescue League, Animal Lovers Rescue, FURever Friends, Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehab and the Humane Society of Houston County.

Lori Giles, a Fort Valley veterinarian, will hold a vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. until noon, offering rabies shots for $8, Parvo/distemper shots for cats and dogs for $15 and pet microchipping for $25, Tamker said.

The event has had great success in the past, with numerous pet adoptions and community interest generated in the rescue groups, Tamker said.

It’s also an event that supply company employees enjoy, she said.

Tamker recalled the second year of the event when Jasper the donkey, on hand with the Georgia Equine Rescue League, was inside the store. Everyone wanted to pet him, and many folks had their picture made with him, she said.

“It was a big joke with everyone that the manager was interviewing a donkey for a job,” Tamker said with a laugh.

“One great thing about something like this is we have a lot of fun.”

She said the event usually packs the parking lot.

“We’re looking for a good day,” Tamker said. “Last year, we had about 15 adoptions, and we’re hoping the rescue groups will report even more this year.”

For more information, contact Chrissy Miner at (478) 972-5554 or the supply company at (478) 953-3344.