The Anderson County Animal Rescue Foundation will host a fundraiser on July 27 at the Museum of Appalachia. Billed as a pet expo, the event will feature keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, animal welfare advocates, many local rescues and the Anderson County K-9 unit.
Artist Joe Bonomo, whose work is regularly featured in The Courier News’ “People and Places” column, will also be an exhibitor at the July 27 event.
“We’re very excited about him,” said co-organizer Katrina Hall.
Bonomo has painted a portrait of a dog specifically for the fundraiser and will donate a portion of the sale of the painting and prints to the organization.
The event is in partnership with the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley.
“The whole purpose of this is to eventually create an adoption center,” Hall said. “And a pet education center for Anderson County. We want to create a place that is a positive experience for the community where they want to go and visit the animals and then, hopefully, adopt them.”
She doesn’t envision a permanent intake facility; rather, she sees the facility as a place where rescues can host adoption events and hold animals that are pulled from shelters.
“I’d like to emphasize the importance of welfare for the animal, and education about animal issues,” said Joe Hall, Katrina’s husband.
Joe Hall is the retired UT Extension agricultural agent and county director.
“People really do care about their animals around here,” he said.
The networking element of the fundraiser is something the couple is excited about as well. They hope that the community will see the vast amount of resources available and connect with each other to create a better environment for animals in Anderson County.
Anderson County ARF was founded in early 2018. While the nonprofit was originally affiliated with the Anderson County Animal Shelter, it no longer is.
The foundation’s mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals in Anderson County. Education is a vital part of its mission, along with increasing public awareness of the need and value of community involvement and responsibility for public and animal welfare, according to Katrina Hall.
The day will start with breakfast at 9 a.m. Tickets are $15 and include a buffet breakfast and a line-up of special guest speakers. The afternoon event is free and starts at 11:30. For more information, visit acandersonanimalrescuefoundation.org.