Lake Norman & Mooresville

Paw Festival benefits Humane Society of Iredell County

Without a doubt, the Humane Society of Iredell County has changed lives in the community – the lives of those of the animals that are saved and of the people who save them.

This year alone, the county’s Humane Society is on track to saving 600 animals, and will more than likely exceed that number. The group is committed to rescuing lives and increasing those numbers each year.

Proceeds from the fifth annual Paw Festival on Nov. 8 will goes into the rescue, rehabilitation, and veterinary care of animals procured. The event will be held at the Humane Society of Iredell, 110 Robinson Road, Mooresville.

Lori Root, director of the Humane Society of Iredell, said the event began as a yard sale where community members donated items, but the work of processing donations became too labor intensive. The event is a community market where vendors rent spaces to sell their items.

Vendors include independent consultants such as Thirty-One, Scentsy and Mary Kay Cosmetics. Local craft makers, especially those with pet items, are encouraged to rent a space. Booth rentals are $30 to $45.

An adoption fair is held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the humane society building. Some cats will be available for adoption at PetSmart in Mooresville.

Megan Smith, public relations chairwoman for the Humane Society of Iredell, said last year’s event raised close to $5,000, all of which went back into the mission.

Lunch begins at 11 a.m. Barbecue chicken and pulled pork are sold for $10 per plate. Smith suggests to come early for the food, as it sells out quickly.

There is a raffle with various prizes, and Acrofitness of Mooresville performs at noon. There is a children’s area with face painting and other activities. Leashed pets up-to-date on their shots are welcome to attend. HSI Second Chance calendars are on sale for advance order for $15.

“The more money we raise from this event, the more animals we can save later,” Smith said. “This is a family-friendly event where there will be something for everyone.”

Root said the Humane Society of Iredell has helped a lot of animals this year with heart worm treatments and other medicine; this has slowed the adoption numbers a bit. But the group is still on track and pacing its work to save at least 600 animals in 2014.

“Eighty percent of these animals come from Iredell County animal control when they’re at their last minutes, literally. We pull more animals on euthanasia day from Iredell animal control than any other day. You know, we get that list and can’t let them go. No one else has come to get them,” Root said.

It happens often, Root said. Sometimes, up to three times the amount of animals saved are euthanized in Iredell County and those number are staggering, she said.

Pet overpopulation is epidemic, she said. There are not enough homes for the numbers of animals created. The Humane Society of Iredell offers discounted rates for spaying and neutering, as well as discounts on vaccinations and microchips. The group has a food bank for Iredell County pet owners struggling to provide food to their animals.

The Humane Society of Iredell pays $65 per cat and $80 per dog to pull them from Iredell County Animal Services & Control. This does not include costs of housing, feeding and caring for each animal, Root said.

“Every dollar we get brings us that much closer to our goal. And every year we help more and more,” Root said.

“It’s a sad thing – the work we do – but we are saving lives. One day last week, on a random Monday, 34 animals were surrendered by their owners to Iredell County animal control.”

“Is this OK?” Root asked.

“The mission here is to find every animal a forever home.”