Tia Randolph, Staff Writer
An excited cluster of spectators cheered for their brindled champions last Saturday at Wingate’s Homecoming celebration. The second annual Running of the Bullies Race sponsored by the BIGG organization, bulldogs into going green.
The event, hosted by BIGG, opened the promenade and Main Street to the furry foster friends of Bullies to the Rescue, a local, breed specific rescue organization of the Carolina’s. This year, not only families owning bulldogs attended the event, but also foster families with rescued bulldogs available for adoption.
Before the main event, many of the contestants participated in a costume contest, earning titles and prizes in categories ranging from “School Spirit” to a “clown category”. Crowned Homecoming King and Queen of the costume contest were the amazing Fenris and his lovely lady, Queen Cora.
By the time contenders began lining Main Street, a crowd had already gathered ready to support the adorable contestants. The race itself was a close one. The champion of each brackets eventually came to face each other in one final faceoff. In an upset, the crowd favorite, Meatball, whose three wins in a row convinced fans of his inevitable victory, was left in the dust by Cloony.
Along with some returning flat faces like Fen and Cloony, four new friends joined the fray. These special dogs were rescues arriving with their temporary caregivers.
One of these adoptable dogs was Emmet, a young brindle bulldog sporting a fashionable blue green harness and a drooly, endearing grin. His registered, Bullies to The Rescue Foster Handler, Wendy, explained more about the program BIGG and was so determined to support.
Bullies to The Rescue is an organization which rescues English Bulldogs and enables them to find permanent loving homes. Often, the rescued animals have been abandoned due to health conditions resulting from ignorance of how to correctly feed and provide for the animals on behalf of the owners.
Bulldogs found by the organization are completely rehabilitated, and all health problems are completely covered by the rescue, as well as expenses put towards behavioral training to prepare formerly mistreated or neglected dogs for life with a forever family.
To adopt a dog like Emmet, a prospective owner would participate in phone and personal interviews, as well as a house evaluation to ensure the family was the right fit for the Bulldog. Any volunteers willing to open their home to a foster dog go through a similar process.
Funds from Carolina Pet Pantry, the business’ physical pet feed and supply in Indian Trail, preserve the rescue and enable it to contact similar ministries around the South East. Because of the work the rescuers are able to do, dozens of bulldogs have been rescued from puppy mills and kill shelters in North and South Carolina, and even in Texas.
Last year the organization was able to place two hundred bulldogs in happy homes, and this year, 160 bulldogs have already been matched with loving families. Besides the income of the store, donations, fundraisers and partnerships such as this year’s partnership with Wingate’s BIGG , help to keep both the online and physical store operational. This allows Bullies 2 The Rescue reach English Bulldog Rescues all over the United States.
Edited By: Brea Childs