Originally published Monday, August 5, 2019 at 09:05p.m.

An amazing event took place at the courthouse plaza on Saturday: many people with their pets wandering around checking out the many booths with a huge array of goods to taste, smell, wear or from which to learn.

The event was the Woof Down Lunch fundraising event sponsored by United Animal Friends. Buying a $20 ticket entitled you to a delicious lunch from CrossRoads Cafe, a handmade pet bowl and special pet treats.

United Animal Friends is dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats who might have been abandoned or for some reason, need a new home. Its motto, “Saving just one animal won’t change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one animal.” So much truth in those few words.

In most cases, these pets needing new homes are in foster homes, and there is always a great need for more foster homes. Many of these dogs and cats are brought in from a shelter in New Mexico where formerly, 90% of them were euthanized. Now, at that shelter, the rate of euthanizing is down to 10%.

Joellyn Nusbaum, president of United Animal Friends, was extremely delighted with the turnout for this event, both with the number of dedicated vendors and the great number of people and their pets who wandered around the square taking part or observing the various activities.

A wonderful crew of volunteers fill all sorts of vital positions. There are those who foster dogs in their homes, which is a big job requiring much dedication. The handlers are at these events with a particular dog who needs to be adopted. The transporters bring the dogs to these events and get them back to their foster homes safely. And there are walkers, who go to the foster homes or wherever needed to take these guys for a walk.

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Many dogs were curious but intimidated by the tunnel on the agility course. With patience, most pups made it. (Christy Powers/Courtesy)

Naturally, this organization is a tremendous supporter of spaying and neutering. It works with vets who are willing to offer lower rates for people who need some help. It also has a food bank where pet food is donated and is needed to care for all these dogs and cats, but also it is available to people who may need a little help caring for their pet. The group has ties with vets and many businesses that help provide desperately needed services

The cats are housed at Kitty City at Petco. Adoption events for dogs and cats also are regularly held there.

United Animal Friends is an incredible organization with help coming from throughout the community. The members stay busy with their many projects. This event was a fundraiser for the organization, but also brought many people and pets together to watch demonstrations of police dogs, obedience training, agility and more. And there was great live music as well.

There was a full display of wonderful, original bowls that were hand made by volunteer potters. Some of these bowls are sent to the VA, where members of the occupational therapy group are taught to administer the glaze. What a wonderful outreach!

Despite the interference of extremely loud thunder, which is not liked by many of our canine friends, and a huge wind burst that came through, causing the vendors to hang on tight, it was a wonderful event and proved that there is a wonderful bond among all pet lovers, and Prescott is such a wonderful pet-loving community.

For more information about this terrific organization, or if you would be interested in volunteering, go to www.unitedanimalfriends.org. United Animal Friends is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. And what a wonderful group it is!

Christy Powers is a freelance writer whose passion is studying and writing about pet health, nutrition and training. She can be reached at cpowerspak@gmail.com.