What’s better than a scrumptious dinner and lovely evening at Park Winters? Indulging for a great cause: helping to find homes for dogs that desperately need them. That opportunity will arise this Saturday, with an inaugural gala, Paws at the Park 2017, a benefit for 3R Rescue.
Locally owned and operated 3R Rescue is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to giving unwanted dogs a more pleasant future than euthanization, which is, sadly, where most will end up unless someone steps in to save them. Beyond merely rescueing the dogs from certain death, 3R Rescue rehabilitates the dogs to make sure they’re ready for a second chance in a new home. That’s what the “3R” stands for: Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome.
Linda Palagi, founder and president of 3R Rescue, explains that rescued dogs receive medical care, quality nutrition and an opportunity to de-stress and socialize in a home environment, which enables them to be “good citizens” in their new homes. She says 3R Rescue focuses on rural, under-sourced shelters that do not have adequate medical support, staff or facilities, and few potential adopters coming to the shelter. Euthanasia rates at these shelters are as high as 80 percent. Palagi says some of these shelters kill 40-50 dogs every day.
“Many of these dogs are totally adoptable and end up in shelters through no fault of their own. We save these dogs,” says Palagi. “Many of our dogs come directly from the kill room where there was no second chance.”
Besides helping dogs in need, Palagi says 3R Rescue is also active in the Winters community, assisting senior citizens with pets and Winters High School students with senior Capstone projects. 3R Rescue maintains a presence at local events such as Youth Day to encourage empathy for animals, dispence information about animal care and emphasize the importance of spaying and neutering pets.
Currently, 3R Rescue seeks to expand its community support programs, and to work with local veterinarians and educators to advocate for spaying and neutering. Next year, a program designed to help seniors care for their pets is in the works.
3R Rescue is supported mostly by volunteers, as well as a UC Davis intern program, for students in the pre-vet, animal science and animal behavior fields. The organization got its start in March 2013, however, Palagi says that she and her husband, Jack Lynn, worked with dogs and rescue programs for 20 years before forming their own non-profit. To date, Palagi estimates that 3R Rescue has saved 460 dogs from high-kill shelters.
With so many dogs in need, Palagi says money isn’t the only thing that’s tight. More volunteers are always needed, as are donations for veterinary care.
“The number of animals we save is directly proportional to the number of volunteers and donations we receive,” says Palagi. “Veterinary costs are the number one expense.”
Helping out with that expense is part of 3R Rescue’s goal in starting their Paws at the Park fundraisers this year at Park Winters.
“3R hopes that Paws at the Park will help to raise funds to expand its local programs, rural shelter support, and save more dogs,” says Palagi.
The event begins this Saturday, Nov. 4, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music, while attendees browse silent auction items. A seated dinner prepared by the Park Winters chefs and dessert from Freeport Bakery follows. After dinner, there will be a live auction for items including private plane rides, gourmet dinners and trips to Italy, Bali or Africa. All funds raised will benefit 3R Rescue.
Those who can’t attend the event can still support 3R Rescue by helping to sponsor the event, or donating items for the silent or live auctions. Monetary donations are always welcome, and can be made online at www.3rrescue.org or mail a check to 3R Rescue, PO Box 608, Winters, CA 95694.
Other ways to help support 3R Rescue and the dogs they save are to volunteer as dog walkers or become a board member.
Tickets for Paws in the Park are $150 per person, and are still available. To purchase tickets and pre-register for auction bidding online, go to charityauction.bid/3rrescue to purchase tickets on line. To purchase tickets by check contact Palagi, 707-529-4643.