CAMDEN, Maine — Robert Gabe walked down Route 1 with his 12-year-old shepherd-Akita for a cause that brought them together in the first place. And he was joined by more than a dozen others and their “best friends.”
This was the fifth annual Mutt Walk, a fundraising event for the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League, and it attracted dog lovers and their pets from all over the midcoast area for a walk to downtown Camden and back to Camden Street where the shelter is located.
Gabe said his dog Mikey was at the shelter for about a year before he took him in for long-term shelter care. The Rockland man said when he saw Mikey on the shelter’s local access TV show, he felt compelled to foster the dog.
“Laura was saying that it’s not fair for a dog to live out the rest of its life in a shelter,” Gabe said, referring to the shelter manager.
Shelter manager Laura Stupca, who helps run the local access show, said the message hit home for Gabe, who had previously owned a dog who lived to 16 years.
“It pulled at Rob’s heart strings, so he took him in,” the manager said.
Dogs of all breeds were seen with their owners walking downtown Camden for the nonprofit animal shelter. Participants were encouraged to collect pledges to raise money for food, medicine and other important supplies necessary to care for stray and relinquished dogs and cats, Board of Directors President Jean Freedman-White said.
“We’re always looking to see how we can improve the care of our animals,” the board of director president said.
White also wanted to raise awareness on important pet issues for this time of year. She said owners should keep their dogs from being outside or inside cars for too long because of hot weather. Appropriate care for ticks is important too, she added.
White said the shelter runs about four or five fundraisers a year, and they are always looking for volunteer help. To learn more about the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League, visit pawsadoption.org.