News and Tribune

August 5, 2013

A cause for paws: Parade, rally raises funds and awareness for pets

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY —

Though restricted by a leash, Sherman, a rat terrier making his home in Clark County, trotted boastfully beside his master as he led a procession along Market Street in downtown New Albany Saturday. 

Just a few weeks ago, Sherman wasn’t living quite so well. He was one of several dogs rescued from an Indiana hoarding operation, and one of the latest canines being fostered by Peggy Roberson. 

Roberson volunteers for several animal causes including devoting time to the national Ratbone Rescues group, which is dedicated to finding homes for rat terriers. 

She also is one of the main organizers of the New Albany edition of the Purina Pro Plan Rally to Rescue. Saturday marked the seventh time the event has been held in Floyd County, and the ninth year a pet parade has taken place to raise awareness and funds for animal rescues. 

Volunteers collected dog and cat food donations, sold pet items and passed out information about local shelters and rescues. Ten dogs took part in the parade, as their owners showed off their canines by walking them along Market Street and through the Farmers Market. 

Proceeds and food items collected from the event went to area rescues and shelters. 

“We all have to help each other,” Roberson said. 

In addition to the numerous rescue organizations in need of aid, Roberson said local shelters also struggle with funding for supplies and operations. 

The Rally for Rescue event helps bring attention to those needs and assists in finding homes for pets. 

And not all rescues are dedicated to cats and dogs. 

For example, there’s the Indiana House Rabbit Society, which is a shelter and rescue operation. Mary Kalb, Louisville, fosters rabbits, and joined Saturday’s event in part to help find homes for her current litter. 

“A lot of people in this area still think they’re agricultural [animals], but they make really good house pets,” Kalb said. 

If you’re interested in adopting a house rabbit, contact Kalb at mary@indianahrs.org. 

Roberson began fostering dogs about 12 years ago. She wanted a rat terrier, and after weeks of searching utilized a rescue group to obtain one. 

Shortly thereafter, the group asked if she’d foster a rat terrier, and since then she’s kept more than 80 dogs until they were adopted. 

Roberson’s dogs have been adopted in 28 states and Canada, and she doesn’t have any intentions of stopping. 

“I love fostering,” she said. “It’s something I can do to give back to the community.”