Listen here to find what the Canine Carnival means to non-profits in Central New York.
By Hannah Duncan SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Last weekend at the Jamesville Beach Park, the 8th annual Canine Carnival brought together over 100 organizations to help raise money and awareness for rescue animals.
The event was not just for dogs, but also for cats, reptiles, and even horses that were all available for adoption. Many animals were adopted or will be adopted because of the growing event. Wayne Mahar, founder of the Canine Carnival and the Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation, started the non-profit in honor of his animal-loving mother after she passed away ten years ago.
“I thought, well, you know I’m going to keep her name going,” Mahar said. “I wanted a way to keep her name going and help animals, and so I started the foundation.”
The Priscilla Mahar Foundation raises money and gives 90 percent or more to animal welfares and rescues across Central New York. Over the past seven years they have given about $200,000 to local animal rescues. Their next big event, Pucks for Paws, is at the beginning of April. People will be able to bring their dogs to a Syracuse Crunch hockey game, with the proceeds from the tickets benefitting the foundation.
One local organization that has participated in the Canine Carnival for several years is a dog rescue based in DeWitt called Helping Hounds. Vanessa Malone, volunteer coordinator, said the biggest impact of the event is the exposure the rescue gets.
“It allows us to get our names out there,” Malone said. “We bring adoptable dogs, so that people can meet the dogs, can hear about what we do at Helping Hounds.”
Malone grew up with animals and she enjoys Helping Hounds because they save so many dogs and it is generally a very upbeat and happy job. People can adopt dogs or donate money and supplies such as blankets for the dogs at the rescue. Helping Hounds also relies on its volunteers, as they have over 300.
Helping Hounds will host Pumpkins & Pooches on October 14th, a Halloween-themed event featuring adoptable dogs, food, a dog costume contest, and more. Anyone interested in volunteering, donating, or finding out more about the dogs, can find more information on their website.