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Mutts strut for a good cause
Humane Society fundraiser is Saturday in Forsyth Park
Lucy Kohler of the Making a Difference group

Do you love animals? If so, clear this Saturday on your calendar.

That's when the Humane Society will be hosting a "Mutt Strut" in Forsyth Park from 9 a.m. to noon, its largest and consequently most important fundraiser of the year.

This dog-walking event will be filled with fun and festivities including bands to listen to, contests for you and your pet, and prizes for the top three people who donate or raise the most money.

Due to the economy, the surrendering of animals to the Humane Society has become more and more frequent. A record-breaking 434 pets were surrendered to the Humane Society in the month of June alone.

Nancy Richards with the Humane Society says, "Because the Humane Society is an open admission shelter, they do not turn away domestic animals even if they're aggressive or sick. So, we took in all of the animals that were surrendered in the month of June, even though the shelter is only equipped to hold about 150 animals."

Richards also mentions, "I had never seen that many animals surrendered in one month."

Needless to say, with more and more animals to tend to, expenses for the shelter have also skyrocketed. It costs $65 a day to keep the animals, and the shelter currently contains about 150 animals.

Savannah Arts Academy's MAD (Making a Difference) club is getting involved to help the cause. The club is spearheading a school wide fundraiser to raise money for the Humane Society.

Elle Karbassi has played a key role in raising funds for the Humane Society. Elle is not only a student at Savannah Arts, but also interns for the Humane Society. She has orchestrated Savannah Arts Academy's involvement in the charity and will be encouraging students to give donations.

"We are encouraging people to sign up for the Mutt Strut because if enough people sign up, we have a Savannah Arts Academy banner for us to walk behind in the Mutt Strut," she says.

"The fundraiser will include bake sales that will are held twice a week for two weeks. The baked goods will be provided by local bakeries. The bakeries will give the students at Savannah Arts Academy their day old goods to be sold in the bake sale."

Students and faculty will be encouraged to participate. The MAD club has placed donation jars throughout the school, making it easy for people to donate. Mutt Strut pins are also being sold.

For only a couple of dollars, Savannah Arts students can sport decorative pins that promote the Mutt Strut. This is a good way for the MAD club to advertise and encourage others to donate.
Savannah Arts Academy has also created their own website for donation making (

"By having students donate to this page rather than to the Humane Society's website, it will be easy to tell how much money was donated from just Savannah Arts Academy," Karbassi says.

Mutt Strut happens this Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon in Forsyth Park.