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Pet Food Stores to Host Pet Wash Fundraiser for CARDA on Saturday

May 13, 2011

Pleasanton Patch

Ten pet food stores throughout the East Bay, including stores in the Tri-Valley area, will host a pet wash fundraiser Saturday to benefit the California Rescue Dog Association — a group whose dogs help locate missing people.

The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Pet Food Express stores in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin, according to a press release.

All the proceeds from pet-wash tokens sold at participating stores will go toward the cause, and a portion of proceeds from Natural Balance pet foods sold at the participating stores on that day will also go to the association.

The association is an all-volunteer organization, and all money raised will go directly toward the costs associated with the training and deployment the search and rescue dogs.  Search dogs and their handlers will be at all ten stores to meet the public. 

Founded in 1976, the association is the largest K-9 search and rescue organization in the U.S., according to the release.

The volunteers deploy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to assist in the search for missing persons throughout California.  Teams are provided at no cost to the requesting agencies.

Teams respond to over 300 searches per year, either in their capacity as a direct resource for the California Emergency Management agency (the State agency that local police and sheriff departments call when they need search dogs) or as members of their county search and rescue teams.

In a typical year, the association provides more than 7,000 hours of service on search and rescue missions. It is not uncommon for an individual handler to contribute over 800 hours per year training, mentoring and searching, according to the release.

Association members pay for nearly every cost associated with this volunteer work:  the dog, dog food, routine and emergency veterinary care, equipment, gas, vehicle maintenance, outside training, and time lost from work. 

Additionally, association members pay roughly half of the group's organizational expenses.   The Pet Food Express Fundraiser will help with the cost of dispatching teams to searches and, if enough funds are raised, will be used to help teams with emergency veterinary expenses and the cost of driving to searches. 

Pet wash tokens can be used at any Pet Food Express store that has a self-serve pet wash. 

All but two of the current 35 Pet Food Express stores have a pet wash. 

The tokens do not have to be used on the day of the event.  

Self-serve pet washes are popular because the store provides a back-saving raised tub, shampoo, towels, air dryer, apron, and after-bath tub clean-up.  Pet owners wash their own pets.

By Tanya Rose

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