• Sylvie Parbus

A Saturday to Remember: Hiking for Hounds in the Morning and Raising the Ruff that Night

On Saturday, May 4, we had quite a fulfilling day helping two of our favorite causes: Caws for Paws and Saving Grace. We started out the day as proud sponsors and hikers in The Hike for Hounds fundraising event for Cause for Paws Rescue and what a day it turned out to be. The event raised over $10K to support Cause for Paws NC medical cases. Cases like Jorja, CFP's first medical case of 2019. Jorja is a sweet puppy that was hit by a car and picked up by Animal Control. The shelter called Cause for Paws and they were able to meet them at urgent care and finance major surgery for this pup.

Cause for Paws of North Carolina is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to protecting, nurturing, and finding homes for unwanted or displaced animals. Through their services, collaboration with other organizations, and thrift stores, they strive to improve their communities by recycling goods, creating jobs, and providing care for animals in need of adoption.

Hike for Hounds is CFP's largest fundraiser. It helps raise money to pay for major medical expenses which include urgent care visits, surgeries, heart worm treatments and specialists. CFP has become known as a rescue willing to take in the hardest cases which often comes with a hefty price tag.

After the hike, we went home and to clean up for our another event that evening for Saving Grace, Raise the Ruff!

We've had the privilege to watch Saving Grace come into fruition since I met Molly in 1995. Molly has been involved in not only rescuing homeless pups from rural shelters but has also been active in disaster rescue including with the Sato dogs when Puerto Rico was hit. Now Saving Grace is ready for their next stage in their journey.

SAVING GRACE STARTED OUT as a private residence many years ago. The ever-growing need in our community to save animals and help families find a great dog provided the farm new purpose and life. While the dogs at Saving Grace have always been well cared for, day-to-day operations at times can be a struggle for volunteers and adopters due to a lack of basic amenities such as:

  • A place to bathe and groom their dogs so they always look fresh and ready to adopt

  • Indoor meeting space for families to come and meet the dogs

  • A kitchen to clean the 100's of dishes a week

The Raise the Ruff Fundraiser will help fund their new shelter and ensure they can continue doing their amazing work in our community. This renovations will help in many ways, including:

  • Giving adopters a place to meet dogs out of the elements with dedicated areas to visit dogs on a one-to-one basis, which will translate into more adoptions.

  • Providing inside running hot and cold water with wash and bath stations, as well as an indoor bathroom for adopters, visitors and volunteers.

  • A special intake/treatment room with space for dogs to be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian or member of the SG medical team.

  • Our office space will be modernized to include areas to conduct important dialogue with shelter partners and veterinarians, as well as enhanced record keeping for every dog.

  • IN ORDER TO CONTINUE operating in any capacity Saving Grace is also required to bring our current space up to county standards including: handicapped and emergency vehicle accessibility, extensive solid fencing and landscape screening, and parking lot modifications/adjustments.

Running an operation like this is tough, but well worth it. Here's what owner Molly has to say:

"Why am I still here? Because after… 5,000 trips to shelters, cleaning diarrhea, the best volunteers ever, amazing vets and friends, cleaning up lots of vomit, Babs – the Saving Grace Wonder Woman, bottle feeding puppies, many hikes with Karen and 20 dogs around Falls Lake for therapy and to restore sanity, mange, 2 trips to New Orleans, scrubbing diarrhea, the amazing SNAP team, first time nail trims requiring safety goggles, generous donors, parasites, puppy breath, removing embedded collars, the adoption of a senior dog, Wake Forest Animal Hospital, “I have a tick where!?!,” a clear and present purpose in life, hosing diarrhea, the determination of a child to improve her pets quality of life, driving a van with a couch in it, stuffing kong after kong with peanut butter, pig grunts, lots of fajitas and margaritas, learning that time is the best teacher, Jason and Lisa, being haunted by a shelter dog left behind, finding lots of limited resources, throwing the same tennis ball over and over, kennel cough, hosting fundraisers, more diarrhea, 334 pictures to get a good one, a burning and addictive passion for improving the reputation of shelter animals, dingleberries, meeting a child in awe of my job, poop on my shoes again… …the dogs turned out to be my saving grace, witnessing the power of love and value of life each and every day, remarkable and kind parents who finally accepted this isn’t a phase.. and welcoming a new dog into our program as they shake their past haunted by neglect and loneliness as they settle into a warm, dry bed and breath a sigh of peace on earth, I still love it!"

Here's a few pictures from the event:

So yes, Saturday was quite a day but the love we felt all day from all the donors and supporters, hikers and hounds made this day one for the books.

There are many ways to help Cause for Paws, including shopping at one of their thrift shops, adopting a dog or donating to the cause. Feel free to contact them and let them know how you can help.

Saving Grace is not only in need of financial contributions to make this happen, but also volunteers to help with dogs, social media, marketing, administration, etc. Contact them at savinggrace@savinggracenc.org and let them know how you can help. To donate, click on Raise the Ruff and help them reach their goal of $1.5 million. Share this post to help call attention to both causes and together we can make a big difference.


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