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Rome for the Rescues

  • 3 min to read

Rome and Floyd County are filled with inspiring stories of rescued animals, saved from neglect and abuse and homelessness.

But there are still more that need help. An upcoming event will allow locals to help animals right here in Floyd County.

On Christmas morning in 2014, the Temple family sat down to breakfast before opening their presents. Suddenly they heard a bark in the garage and ran to the door to be met by their newest family member.

Turns out Santa is a big fan of rescue pets and the furry little present awaiting the family was Reb, who was rescued from Floyd County Animal Control.

“He is the perfect pet for our family,” said Cammie Temple. “He has covered us up with love since that morning three years ago. He came with a grateful heart and man does he love his people. He struts with pride when we take him out and he stands close when another animals comes close. We are so thankful for him.”

In 2009, Moises Corona, a chef at Harvest Moon was in New York. While transferring from one subway train to his Queens-bound 7 train, Moises spotted a box on the platform. It was full of puppies. As others walked past the box without so much as glance back, Moises stopped and picked up a flea covered pit bull puppy.

“Once I picked her up, I couldn’t put her down,” he said.

He named that puppy Nikki Love.

Later, when he moved to Rome, Moises’ neighbor was arrested on drug charges and left his pit bull, Biggie, tied to a tree in the yard. Biggie had no one to care for him or feed him. So Moises stepped in and rescued him too. Now both dogs are spoiled rotten and enjoy life as a happy family.

Michael and Connie Sams, the owners of River Dog Paddle Co. and River Dog Outpost on Broad Street, are the proud parents of three rescues: River Dog, Harley and Sugar Ray.

River Dog, a brown pit and the namesake of their business, was found by the side of the river on Blacks Bluff Road about three years ago. After spotting him two nights in a row, Connie went back on the third night and was able to gently coax him to go home with them. The couple believe River Dog had been used as a bait dog for fighting. He had been beaten up pretty badly and was bleeding all over. Their veterinarian, Dr. Pate, guessed the dog was 9 months old at the time. Since then, River Dog has played a pivotal role in their lives, which is why they credit him for helping them get to where they are today.

Their brown boxer Harley was rescued from Floyd County Animal Control three years ago and Sugar Ray, a white boxer, was taken in when a friend was no longer able to care for him.

Michael says the entire family — humans and dogs — complete each other in some way.

These are all stories with happy endings. And there are many just like them all over the community. But there are also stories that may not end so happily. Hundreds of animals need rescuing in Rome and Floyd County.

One local organization, Claws for Paws, has been helping homeless pets in Floyd County since 2008, and their upcoming event, Rome for the Rescues, will help even more.

Organizers of Rome for the Rescues promise that it will be the “party of the summer.” Guests will enjoy an evening of food, music, and drinks, all in support of local animal rescue organizations in Floyd County.

The party will include a Craft Beer Garden with entertainment by Scott Thompson, international food stalls catered by Harvest Moon Cafe, a full bar, and a live auction. The featured band for the evening will be Rhythm Nation.

Rome For the Rescues will takes place June 23 at Lawrence Plantation, off Horseleg Creek Road. The beer garden will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $80 per person and $150 per couple. That includes food, drinks and entertainment.

All the proceeds from the event will stay in Floyd County to fund programs and initiatives that will help eliminate pet overpopulation, help decrease euthanasia rates and improve live outcomes at Public Animal Welfare Services.

“We are excited to announce that we will receive matching funds from Fix Georgia Pets for the programs and initiatives we are supporting,” said event organizer Allison Watters. “This means that donations can have an even greater impact on the animal welfare needs in Rome and Floyd County.”

For sponsorship or ticket information, contact Chris Kerr at 347-461-0003 or visit online at