Abandoned or stray animals were the big winners Saturday as the Animal Rescue Foundation held a barbecue and music festival to raise funds for the organization.

Karen Dobson of Coosa, one of the organizers, said she hoped the event would net somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500 dollars for the effort to spare the lives of — and find homes for — animals large and small.

Dobson said she was aware the event had already raised more than the $1,000 took in for a concert the group staged as a fundraiser last year. Six bands and the Just As I Am choir all performed for a crowd at the Rome Senior Center on Riverside Parkway.

Aileen Randall, vice president of ARF, could not say exactly how much it costs to run the rescue organization over the course of a year. “It takes a lot, everything is volunteer and it takes a lot of time to put on an event like this,” Randall said.

Randall said the group raises money to help animals that come into the Public Animal Welfare Shelter on North Avenue. “If they are sick or injured we can take care of them and get them medical help,” Randall said. “We get calls all the time about dogs that have been hit by cars and we help them.”

Randall said ARF also works with other animal rescue shelters to help find homes for animals. “We may take them to Road Trip Home, another rescue and animal transport group in Acworth. They end up getting dogs from other rescues and take them up North because the North doesn’t have the stray population that we do,” Randall said.

Randall said she has a sister-in-law who lives in New York who claimed that it was difficult to find a puppy up there.

Randall has fostered about 30 animals since the start of the year and said additional foster homes for animals are also needed in Rome and Floyd County.

“We need a lot of fosters,” Randall said.

People needing additional information can reach ARF by phone at 706-622-1098 or by email at arfromefloyd@gmail.com.

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