Paws On Top
Annual fundraiser provides $28,000

Katherine Fernandez
Local residents helped save numerous animals last month during the ninth Paws on the Farm fundraiser, which was held by the Lenoir City Animal Clinic at the Reserve at Bluebird Hill in Lenoir City.

Dr. Barry Gordon, veterinarian at the clinic, said the event typically raises about $25,000 each year. The full amount was donated to the Loudon County Humane Society.  

“A lot of people in Loudon County love animals,” Betty Brown, Humane Society board president, said. “This is just an opportunity for them to help with the care of them.”

More than 100 people attended the event, which included dinner and dancing, followed by a live silent auction that was not so quiet at times, according to animal clinic staff. Misty Wilson, office manager, and vets said the event was “lively” and “sometimes boisterous.”

More than 40 items were donated by local merchants. Brown said big ticket items included weekend or overnight cabin rentals, pontoon boat rentals and restaurant gift cards.

Since the first event held in 2005, Paws on the Farm has raised $200,000. Funds go to support spay and neuter programs for low-income families, provide staff for educational programs in Lenoir City and Loudon County schools and assist in sending puppies north through the Puppy Train program.

“It will be used for the needs of the animals in Loudon County,” Brown said. “We fund the spay and neuter program for low-income families and hand out vouchers, and all the vets in Loudon County participate in this to help us get the cats and dogs of Loudon County spayed and neutered.”

The majority of funds goes toward controlling the pet population.

All county veterinary clinics give support by offering a special price to spay or neuter animals. Pet owners who need to get their animals spayed or neutered and have a voucher may go to any vet they would like, Brown said. The bill will be sent to the Humane Society.

The Puppy Train, also known as Rolling Rescue, has “been a great success,” Brown said. Funds from the fundraiser pay for physicals the animals are required to have in order to be shipped north.

“It varies according to the number of puppies we have,” Brown said. “We have sent as many as 28 at a time up there. They’re just begging for puppies up there because they’re not allowed to raise dogs unless they’re official breeders up in Pennsylvania. We ship the dogs up there, and they adopt them. That enables them to have loving homes.”

She said Loudon County resi-dents love animals, and Paws on the Farm is a perfect way to help them without having to own and care for them all.

“Think how the animals would suffer if that money went elsewhere,” Brown said.