The pitter-patter of feet and paws from several thousand people and animals filled downtown Gulfport on Saturday February 24 during the 14th-annual Get Rescued event.
Beach Boulevard, from the library to the Casino, was closed to accommodate booths belonging to 51 non-profit animal rescue groups and about 60 vendors, said Suzanne King, owner of SIK Promotions, the event promoter.
The non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) hosted the event, which is one of the largest animal rescues festivals in the state, said King.
“It’s pure donating for and adopting as many animals as people possibly can,” said Scott Linde, GMA president.
Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, skunks and a pot-bellied pig were some of the animals non-profit organizations were showcasing and offering for adoption.
Over seven-and-a-half tons of dog food was donated, said King.
“This never would have happened without the help of Salty’s Gulfport and Bark Life Pet Food, Market and Grooming. They knew we needed pet supplies organizers and the two of them got together and made it happen. We’ve had great coordinators in the past but this team is over the top.”
Individuals also donated pet food and supplies in the weeks leading up to the event and during the festivities by dropping off items on the sidewalk in front of the Casino.
After expenses, all of the donations and proceeds from commercial booth space fees, an online crowd-funding campaign, the Bark-B-Que food sales and raffle sponsored by Salty’s “goes back to the participating non-profits,” said King.
Non-profits are provided with free booth space and an all-volunteer staff runs the event, she said.