Fifteen lucky pups are settling into their new homes this week just in time for Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, which takes place November 1 to 7. The rescue dogs, all from the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), found permanent homes during Lucky’s Mutt Madness, according to the TurfMutt Foundation, the environmental stewardship and education arm of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). The annual national dog adoption event is held in conjunction with the Equip Exposition trade show, which gives rescued dogs a chance to meet hundreds of trade show attendees.
“For the dogs, the event was all about finding a permanent home,” says Kris Kiser, President of the TurfMutt Foundation, OPEI and Equip Exposition, “…and for the show’s attendees who create the green spaces America loves. Bringing home a new pet underscores the importance of what they do every day—get outside, work in it, and enjoy it.”
When Zachary Watson, owner of Site Pros Landscaping, and Alissa Wells stopped by Lucky’s Mutt Madness, they weren’t planning to adopt a dog. Then they met feisty Kaia, a spaniel mix, and “it just happened,” they explained. Kaia is settling into her new home near Orlando with their five-year-old lab mix, Snowman, and both dogs accompany them to work. “We haven’t had a puppy for five years and she zooms around the house!” they said.
Ace, an American bulldog mix, caught the eye of Jacqui Hubacek, who wanted to adopt a dog that could play with her two boys, Greyson and Ayden. She was able to meet a number of puppies at the event and chose Ace to take home to Illinois because he was so gentle. She reports Ace has already mastered sitting and her youngest son tells her every day, “You picked the perfect one!”
“We lovingly call the dogs up for adoption during Mutt Madness as ‘show dogs.’ It ain’t Westminster but we have helped place many dogs in need in their forever homes,” said Kiser.
Equip Exposition is the largest event for outdoor power equipment, lawn and garden equipment, light construction and landscape equipment industries, and in 2019, it was the 6th largest in the U.S. according to the Gold 100. Recently rebranded from GIE+EXPO, Equip Exposition has a new office in Louisville and plans are underway to expand the TurfMutt Foundation’s activities. The October 19-21, 2022 trade show will include Mulligan’s Fun Run, a fundraising 5K race to benefit the KHS that will be held in downtown Louisville. The Ariens Company will sponsor the run.
“It’s so gratifying to see our incredible rescue dogs find new homes. Some of them have been through a lot of hardship,” explained Alisa Gray, Vice President of Outreach at the KHS. “We’re thrilled to once again partner with the TurfMutt Foundation, and really looking forward to the 2022 event as well as the new 5K run through Louisville benefiting animal rescue rehabilitation and adoption.”
At the 2019 Lucky’s Mutt Madness the current TurfMutt spokesdog, Mulligan, found her home with Kiser. She resides in Virginia and now continues to “paw it forward” by inspiring kids and their families to care for and spend time in backyards, parks and other green spaces.
“Our green space has become more important than ever, and the ‘backyarding’ trend of doing more activities from working to socializing outside is here to stay,” added Kiser. “Dogs are a great way to reconnect to the outdoors.”
During the event, the TurfMutt Foundation donated a $10,000 check to the KHS to support the organization’s work in animal rehabilitation, rescue and adoption.
“The work the Kentucky Humane Society does is incredible and we should all appreciate what animal rescue organizations do every day,” commented Kiser.
Want to see more of the adopted rescue dogs? Watch this video of the 2021 Lucky’s Mutt Madness event: