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Cute Carnival: Brookhaven Animal Rescue League’s Barkfest success this year

Puppies were sprinkled all over the Mississippi School of the Arts lawn on Saturday, April 13. The cuties were being walked, held and showed off. They could be found resting in laps under the trees and strutting their stuff on the sidewalk. Some were trying to get adopted and some were just scoping out the place with their owners.

Brookhaven Animal Rescue League’s Barkfest debuted its second year with a perfect, sunny day.

“It was a very successful day. We raised money and awareness and had four dogs adopted out,” said BARL volunteer Samantha Sivils.

This year, instead of a garage sale, 15 vendor booths were set up on campus. Food, refreshments, jewelry and other goodies could be found.

“Our vendors came from all across the state,” said Sivils.

A variety of bands and soloists performed throughout the day for the 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. event including Christian band Stone Water and Bryan Barfoot, who volunteered his sound equipment.

His wasn’t the only donation, but many others volunteered their time and resources. Brookhaven Graphics donated T-shirts; Shazam Jump House donated a fun jump for the day; and Southern Sanitation also donated. Brookhaven Broadcasting helped with publicity and helped BARL receive product donations from Pepsi. Even though many helped out with the event, BARL always needs more resources and volunteers.

“We always could use a few extra hands,” said Sivils.

As a part of the fundraiser, BARL pre-sold tickets for chicken on a stick.

“We sold probably 400 chicken on a sticks,” said BARL volunteer Julie Montalvo.

Sivils said the organization nearly doubled their funds received from last year’s event. All proceeds go to benefit Brookhaven Animal Rescue League.

During the day, the BARL dogs were each introduced and their stories were told. A dog show for non-BARL dogs provided entertainment. Categories were Best Dressed, Most Adorable, Owner/Dog Look-Alike and Best Trick. Winners were chosen based on audience applause.

Dogs weren’t the only ones catered to at the event; there was plenty to do for the kids. One scan across the crowd and many puppy-faced children could be seen. Little ones lined up to get their faces painted like a doggy and their hair sprayed a crazy color. A train was also available for the kids to take a ride around campus. A fun jump and other games kept children entertained, if they weren’t preoccupied with petting puppies.

“It was a great turnout. You couldn’t ask for a better day,” said Montalvo.

More BARL fundraisers are scheduled for the summer. Golfing for the Animals is coming up and Dog Days of Summer Doggie Day Camp is in July.

For more information about Brookhaven Animal Rescue League, visit www.barl.net or find Brookhaven Animal Rescue League on Facebook.

The animal adoption fee is $70 and includes heartworm testing, vaccinations, spaying or neutering and micro chipping.

“We have a lot of animals ready for adoption,” said Sivils.