Some 15 pets are currently vying for the title of 2012 PALS Spokespet at the annual Pet Cotillion, the spring fundraiser for Pets Are Loving Support, this year set for May 6 at Piedmont Bark.

Last year, Pet Cotillion raised about $14,000, according to PALS Executive Director Kevin Bryant. The money, Bryant says, goes to veterinary care, like heartworm medication, spay and neutering services and flea medication.

Pets competing in the Pet Cotillion have profiles listed on the PALS website (palsatlanta.org) and can be voted on ($1 per vote) leading up to the event. The pet that raises the most money will be crowned this year’s winner.

PALS, in operation for two decades, helps people facing financial challenges due to illness or disabilities, as well as senior citizens, keep their pets. It was founded to serve people with HIV and later broadened its mission.

This year’s Pet Cotillion will feature Tyler Calkins from Fenuxe Magazine and Mara Davis from Atlanta’s 92.9 Dave FM as event emcees.

Tickets are $25 for general admission and $75 for VIP admission, Bryant says. VIP tickets include reserve seating and a gift bag. A silent auction will be held featuring items ranging from pet gift-baskets to stays in bed and breakfasts.

“Bring your dog,” Bryant says. “It’s like a cocktail party for everyone to socialize and raise money for a good cause.”

Like most nonprofit organizations, PALS has felt the downturn in the economy in the last few years, Bryant says, but adds that his organization has continued to provide a consistent level of services, thanks to solid planning.

“Regardless of whether or not we’ve had donations, we’ve always continued with the mindset to watch our spending and save for a rainy day,” Bryant says. “That really kept us going.”

Bryant is PALS’ only employee but says that the organization has some 150 volunteers who deliver food, organize events and take pets to see their vet.

“Everyone plays a different role at a different time,” Bryant says.

 

Top photo: PALS Spokespet Noodle passes on his crown at the May 6 Pet Cotillion. (courtesy PALS)

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