JLA Society fundraises for a greater cause

Pet-a-Palooza, a fundraiser for the Just Love Animals Society (JLA Society), recently visited Calgary for the first time.

On July 25 and July 26, Lonnie Powell and Jordan Illingworth, founding directors of the JLA Society, held an outdoor pet festival in Eau Claire. Although this is a first visit for Calgary, Pet-a-Palooza has been making its way through the West Coast by running four years in Victoria, two years in Vancouver and, Powell says, they are looking to take on Los Angeles and San Francisco next year.

Pet-a-Palooza was beneficial for everyone involved during the two days of pet friendly fun. Vendors were able to sell their merchandises and network with other companies that support animal welfare. Pet owners were able to get free advice from veterinarians, free teeth cleanings, sample treats, try on clothes, meet trainers and meet their neighbours in the community.

While this pet-friendly event was a fundraiser for the JLA Society, Powell says there was more to it than that.

"Our end game is to open up a first ever pet memorial gardens and animal sanctuaries," Powell says. "Right now, it's a numbers game. We see about 80,000 people a year, we've given out over $100,000 worth of free real estate to other local non-profits and rescues."

He added that when their "numbers" reach 200,000 to 300,000 people, that's "when we can start changing bylaws, and making the changes and impact though the foundation so what it is, is a building block for us. The more people we're in front of, our message and our army gets bigger and then we can start fixing the things that are wrong with the system and working together collectively."

For more information on the Just Love Animals Society and Pet-a-Palooza, check their websites www.jlasociety.com and www.petapaloozawest.com.

Photos by Melissa Kadey

Published on Aug. 11.

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"Running of the bulls" features a showdown between French and English bulldogs in a 20 ft. dash during Calgary's Pet-a-Palooza on July 25 in Eau Claire.