Titled Hoggs for Dogs, the seventh annual benefit will start at Harley-Davidson of Cartersville, 2281 Highway 411 N.E., and end at Tom's Place, 461 Old Mill Place in Cartersville. Beginning at 11 a.m., bikers will be able to pay a registration fee of $25 for one hand of poker, with additional hands costing $10 each. After departing at noon, the bikers will pick up a card at selected sites before arriving at their final designation.
"We've had a lot of [bikers] that have come every year," said Carrie Thomas, EVHS board member. "We're real grateful for that. They've come for the first one and have rode in every ride that we've had.
"[This year], we've changed our route to make it more accommodating for the bikers to enjoy. ... It's a fun event. Everyone that comes enjoys it. You don't have to be a biker to come. If you [want, just] come to Tom's at 4, that's when the festivities get started."
After all of the motorcyclists arrive at Tom's Place by 4 p.m., prizes will be distributed to the participants with the worst and top three poker hands. Following the ride, the festivities will continue with live music by Missy Flapjack and the Butterworth Blues Band, representatives of the Marietta Derby Darlins, raffles and auctions.
Opened in 2006, EVHS' 4,928-square-foot shelter at 36 Ladd's Mountain Road costs about $240,000 per year to manage. The shelter consists of two staff offices, a quarantine room, two visitation rooms, 14 temperature-controlled kennel runs, a cat room with 24 cages and a puppy room with 22 cages.
Since the EVHS currently is funded solely by private donations, fundraisers and adoption fees, events like Hoggs for Dogs are integral to its operation.
"Right now we're the only viable outlet to save the animals that are brought into Animal Control," EVHS Director Bryan Canty said. "Were it not for the Humane Society, pretty much every animal that wasn't reclaimed by their owners would get euthanized. Just to give you an example of that, in March alone we were able to save 193 lives through adoptions and rescues, which is an all time record. And we were able to drop the euthanization rate to below 50 percent for the first time ever.
"So we serve a viable service. ... Since we're a 501c3, yet to this day we haven't received any government funds whatsoever. So donations and fundraisers are huge for us because you simply cannot in this day and age make it on just the margins off of your adoption fees. Were it not for fundraisers, we'd pretty much have to -- we'd have to close the doors."
Along with raising money for the EVHS, Canty hopes the Hoggs for Dogs benefit also will help spread awareness about a variety of topics.
"We have a lot of great things that are happening out here. We have our own transport operating outside of this shelter," Canty said, referring to EVHS animals being adopted in Northern states. "We have two established routes -- one to Massachusetts, one to Minnesota. And we've been able to make four runs so far.
"We also have the homeless pet clubs in the schools -- I think in 11 schools now. So we're just broadening our base and trying to reach people through any avenue that we can to not only find homes for the animals but also to educate on our mantra of spaying and neutering and educating people to responsible pet ownership and also [enlightening] them to the plight of pet overpopulation in Bartow County."
For more information about the EVHS and its upcoming fundraiser, visit www.etowahvalleyhumane.org or call 770-383-3338.