By Oliver Lazenby
At U.S. military bases around the planet, service members occasionally bend the rules by adopting stray dogs or cats. When they come home or when their new pets are discovered, those pets are put in a pickle.
A national nonprofit called Puppy Rescue Mission, based in Selena, Texas, coordinates transporting dogs and cats from foreign bases back to their adopted owners’ homes in the U.S. The organization has reunited more than 300 animals with their owners in the past two years, according to a press release from the organization.
To make that possible, Birch Bay dog store Bow Wow & Woofs is hosting the third annual Puppy Rescue Mission dog festival and barbecue fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 at Peace Arch Historical State Park.
Admission costs $20 per person, with all proceeds going to Puppy Rescue Mission.
Bow Wow & Woofs owner Heather Campbell learned about Puppy Rescue Mission from a customer who was reunited with his adopted Iraqi dog through Puppy Rescue Mission, she said.
“Once you start meeting the individuals who saved these dogs, you see the difference the dogs made in not only their lives but their family’s lives as well,” Campbell said. “It really helps with PTSD. It gives them a sense of hope and normalcy.”
The event includes opportunities to meet dogs rescued by Puppy Rescue Mission, speeches by veterans, vendors, a Boundary Bay Brewery beer garden, catering by Outlaw BBQ, a silent auction featuring baskets and restaurant cards, a live auction for a fishing trip, hotel stays and guitars signed by Paul McCartney and Tom Petty, and more.
The event takes place in the American Kitchen area of Peace Arch Historical State Park.
Tickets are available at Bow Wow & Woofs, at 8115 Birch Bay Square St., and online at bit.ly/2JViVuL. Tickets will also available at the event.
Learn more at thepuppyrescuemission.org.
Puppy Rescue Mission, 2017. Photos courtesy of Heather Campbell