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Pets and vets go together hand-in-paw

Pets and vets aren’t usually the best of friends, but when those vets are members of the armed services and the pets are from the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League, there’s a good chance a great friendship could grow.

BARL is offering half off on adoption fees for veterans through July 31.

“When a person makes an honest-to-goodness bond with a pet, that relationship is therapy,” said BARL President Lu Becker. “Veterans, especially those suffering from PTSD, will find an unconditional loving relationship that can help them live in the world around them.”

BARL has over 70 dogs and numerous cats at the adoption center at 501 North Park Drive, off Industrial Park Road, behind Delphi.  The center is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Veterans will need to present a service identification card to qualify for the discounted fee.   

Photos of a few BARL animals can be viewed at www.barl.net. For more information on the Pets for Vets program, contact BARL at 601-757-4367 or info@barl.net.   

BARL relies greatly on contributions to care for the animals at the no-kill shelter. Besides its own annual fundraisers — the celebrity dinner and the rummage sale — BARL raises money through donations from area businesses and individuals.

One business that has helped the shelter raise money for spaying, neutering and shots — which can run $200 per pet — is Magnolia Blues BBQ Company. The restaurant will host its second annual Barks and Brews fundraiser July 19.

All sales that day will benefit BARL. The event runs from 3-11 p.m. and includes live music.   Owner Carl Craig said this particular event is important to his family and the community.   “We both love animals,” Craig said about himself and his wife. “To have the opportunity to help out one of our non-profit organizations feels good.” 

The restaurant donated approximately $2,000 last year to BARL. Craig hopes in the future that the proceeds will exceed the $5,000 mark.  Craig reached out to BARL last year.

“I just told them that we were going to raise money for them today and asked if they would help us get the word out. They were all for it and that’s how it got going,” Craig said. 

For Craig, this was something he had planned before opening his restaurant.   “It just took a while to really be able to donate a whole day of sales. Our first few years open, we simply couldn’t afford to lose any days of sales. It took some time, but I’m glad to finally see this event take off,” he said.  “We’ve been really blessed by Brookhaven and the surrounding community. We want to have these types of benefits for different causes throughout the year to show our appreciation.” 

Pets are welcome at the event, but must remain outside. Craig said he hopes to have outdoor seating available by next year’s event.

BARL also offers tips for helping pets deal with hot summer days.

• Never, ever leave your dog in the car.

• Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water.

• Make sure your dog has access to shade when outside.

• Take walks during the cooler hours of the day.

• When walking, try to stay off hot surfaces because it can burn your dog’s paws.

• Consider clipping or shaving your dog.   

BARL encourages cat owners that many of these same guidelines apply to them as well.

Anyone interested in adopting, contributing, or volunteering should contact BARL at 601-757-4367 or info@barl.net.  Donations are tax deductible and may be mailed to BARL, P.O. Box 3477, Brookhaven, MS  39603.