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Savannah Kennel Club raising money for disaster relief trailer

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - When disaster strikes, how will you care for your pets?

Many people leave their pets behind because they are not allowed at hotels nor shelters. It’s a reality for many, and the Savannah Kennel Club is on a mission to change that.

“To me, it’s an atrocity,” Donna Pfendler Merkle said.

Merkle, with the Savannah Kennel Club, believes a Pet Disaster Relief trailer is long overdue.

“I was shocked to find out that nobody on the coast had this especially since we are prone to have hurricanes, so it’s something that is definitely needed,” Merkle said.

The trailer would house or evacuate 65 pets during the first few critical days after a disaster is declared. The club needs to raise $20,000 to bring the fully stocked trailer here.

They’ve asked the disk dogs for help in raising awareness and help host a series of events at the end of September.

“My wife and I are one of those people, if we couldn’t take our pets, we would keep our pets, if we didn’t have a safe place to put them. When they talked to us about this trailer, it’s such a good idea. I got some great sponsors coming out to help, and we’re really hoping to hit the milestone they say,” said Jim Fox, with the Southeast Disk Dog Club.

If this year’s WagFest - which includes a golf tournament, 5k, and a “Pawty” - are a success, next year the Kennel Club will raise money for another trailer for a nearby county.

“If we can get a network of trailers in our community, we will be so strong and helpful to each other,” Merkle said.

Calendar of events:

Event Title: FastCAT

  • Dates: Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12
  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Venue: Tom Triplett Park
  • Street Address: 100 Tom Triplett Dr. & Rt. 80, Pooler, GA
  • Event Description: Dogs racing against the clock in blazing 100-yard dashes for national rankings. An American Kennel Club sanctioned event. Come watch and even try out the sport with your own canine companion, either purebred or mixed breed, in a fun run. Family friendly. No admission charge.
  • Proceeds going to a pet disaster relief trailer.

Event Title: The Fast and the Furriest 5K-9 Race & 1 Mile Fun Walk

  • Dates: Saturday, Sept. 25
  • 8:00 a.m.
  • Venue: Tom Triplett Park
  • Street Address: 100 Tom Triplett Dr. & Rt. 80, Pooler, GA
  • Event Description: Enter with your canine companion, be paired with a rescue pooch, or enter without a dog. All pups are timed and receive a bandana and finishers’ medallion. Swag bags, medallions, bragging rights and stay for a massage. Pre-register at www.savannahkennelclub.com or on site at 7:15 a.m. Proceeds going to a pet disaster relief trailer.

Event Title: WagFest

  • Dates: Saturday, Sept. 25 - 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept 26 - 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Venue: Tom Triplett Park
  • Street Address: 100 Tom Triplett Dr. & Rt. 80, Pooler, GA
  • Event Description: It’s all about the dogs -- disc dogs, dock diving, gun dogs, demonstrations, games and contests, rescue organizations, breeders, vendors, a meet the breed, food and, of course, fun. No admission charge. Family friendly. Dog friendly. Proceeds going to a pet disaster relief trailer.

Event Title: Southeast Disc Dogs Golf Tournament

  • Dates: Wednesday, Sept. 22
  • Registration: 10:30 Start: 12:00 p.m.
  • Venue: The Club at Savannah Harbor
  • Street Address: Hutchinson Island
  • Event Description: 18 holes of golf, cart, and awards and raffles. Pre-register at www.savannahkennelclub.com. Proceeds going to a pet disaster relief trailer.

Event Title: Canines & Cocktails

  • Dates: Wednesday, Sept. 22
  • Registration: 10:30 Start: 12:00 p.m.
  • Venue: Ghost Coast Distillery
  • Street Address: 641 Indian Street, Savannah
  • Event Description: Canines, cocktails, raffles, food, fun and live music by Voodoo Soup. No admission charge. Proceeds going to local service dog organizations.

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