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Tails hit the trail to raise funds


Last updated 3/15/2007 at Noon

Multiple tails were wagging at the Tails on Trails dog walk fundraiser at Fallbrook’s Los Jilgueros Preserve March 10. Though this was the third annual fundraiser for the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, it was the first time they joined forces with the nonprofit animal rescue organization Critter Crossings. Both nonprofits expressed delight at attracting over 150 participants this year.

Owners and their dogs appeared to enjoy the one-mile walk along the beautiful preserve. It gave walkers the opportunity to leave the daily hustle and bustle of life behind and just enjoy some quality time with their pups. While some dogs walked calmly next to their owners, others pups dragged their owners to get a whiff of the shrub ahead. So many smells, so little time!

Following the walk, dog owners and their pups found water awaiting them. Many people, like Fallbrook resident Christine Rinaldi, plopped on the grass and relaxed under the sun’s rays with her yellow Labrador, Amy.

“This was the best walk,” said Rinaldi, petting her dog. “It was very well-organized, with lots of fun activities for the dogs and the people.”

There was plenty for the pooches and their owners to do. There were two time slots for fantastic demonstrations given by Southwest Search Dogs. This interactive demo showcased certified dogs and their handlers conducting an area search by following a particular scent. Onlookers were amazed at the talent before them.

Between the raffle drawings and contests, participants stopped by to chat with the vendors: Critter Crossings, Friends FURever, PAWsitive K-9, California Hypnotherapy Center, Rick Williams Dog Training, Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society and Southwest Search Dogs.

Off in the distance, dog owners could hear the following winners being announced:

• Roundest Dog: Tater

• Look-alike Dogs: Max and Teddy

• Smallest Dog: Henrietta and Daisy (tie)

• Old Dog Who Looked the Youngest: Katie

• Oldest Dog with a Limp: B.J. (13 ½ years old)

Connie Freese, a local Realtor and founder of the Friends of the Los Jilgueros Preserve, mentioned the committee was formed because they were essentially a group of people who walked their dogs there.

“We are all a bunch of dog lovers with big hearts and loved to be involved in dog rescue,” said Freese. With this focus, it was only natural to involve Critter Crossings in their 2007 fundraiser. Freese claims that melding the two nonprofits for the Tails on Trails fundraiser has been a great combination, since it supports causes that are dear to their hearts: the preservation of land and the safeguarding of animals.

“It also brings focus for the dog walkers on how fortunate they are to be able to utilize the Los Jilgueros Preserve,” said Freese.

Freese explained that the Los Jilgueros site is a preserve, not a park. “It is not supported by county tax dollars,” she said. “It is supported primarily by donations from local residents. Every single person who lives in Fallbrook benefits greatly from the efforts of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy.”

Freese said that Critter Crossings does a tremendous job in terms of rescuing and providing placement, foster care and medical care for lost and humane society dogs. They also save dogs from the kill pound.

“They have a really soft spot for dogs with special needs that need medical attention,” Freese noted.

The Tails on Trails dog walk fundraiser is important for the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and Critter Crossings, as it takes a large amount of money to maintain these wonderful and necessary nonprofit endeavors.

Both organizations were thrilled to see the dogs and their owners have such a marvelous time at their fundraiser. Moreover, they were touched by the generosity from their community.


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