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Strut Your Mutt fundraiser next Friday

Fundraising coordinator for Halfway House Animal Rescue Tracey Kyles says that her best ideas come to her first thing in the morning.

Her idea for next Friday’s “Strut your Mutt” Fashion Show and Fundraiser was no exception, she said.

The canine extravaganza will take place Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. at Bella’s Ales and Tails in China Grove, with proceeds benefiting the Halfway House in their rescue efforts.

The Halfway House Animal Rescue was established as a nonprofit in 2015 by board members and rescue enthusiasts Christy File, Sallie Katherine Thompson and Rhonda McBride.

Kyles, who joined the foursome a year later, said the group came together with one unifying goal.

“Our goal is to rescue dogs from the community,” she said. “The largest need is actually taking them from the community before they end up in  the shelter. We’re more of a prevention.”

Accordingly, the group works through a team of volunteers from as far away as Marion, South Carolina, to foster the animals in home until they find their forever families.

Volunteer fosters each have their specialties and soft spots, said Kyles, from puppies to senior or hospice dogs who just need a warm, welcoming environment to live out their last days.

“We have a lot of great volunteers,” she said. “It really does take a village.”

Each Halfway House foster is treated for fleas, ticks and heart worms and other intestinal parasites. They are also vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered where age appropriate.

Accordingly, the Strut Your Mutt event well help offset what Kyles called the rescue’s “enormous vet bill.”

The event will feature three costume categories for canine companions: best dressed, sports fan; or class clown.

Entry fees are $10 for the first category with $5 for each additional category. The top dog in each  category, to be chosen by audience members, will receive a prize.

Bellas Ales and Tails will also donate $1 to the rescue for every purchase of an adult beverage during the event.

“When it comes to fundraising, I’m passionate about making sure people aren’t just donating money,” she said. “I want to raise money through something memorable. I want folks to have fun.”

The event will also feature “doggie bags” for entrants and a raffle with tickets available for purchase during the event.

Register your four-legged friend at Bella’s Ales and Tails at 102 S Main St. in China Grove, Bella’s Barkery at 203 S. Main St. in Salisbury, or by contacting the Halfway House through its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rowancountydogs/.

Jean Helms, with Bella’s Ales and Tails and Bella’s Barkery in Salisbury, said some 10 animals were already registered for the show — not including the pups available for adoption through the rescue.

The deadline to register if Friday, Sept. 21.

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