by Keith Beebe
ELBURNâ€”A Great Dane named Smokey nuzzled his handler, Jennifer Ratcliffe, as she spoke to visitors from a booth at Paws All Day in Elburn on Saturday.
The event in Lions Park was an opportunity for Ratcliffe to let people know about Great Dane Rescue Midwest. Ratcliff represented the organization, which found Smokey in a Chicago animal shelter after he had spent a life of forced dog fighting, bearing scars on his face and neck from the cruel treatment he experienced.
â€œThese Great Danes come to us for a variety of reasonsâ€”divorce, lost jobs, house foreclosure, relocation and other situations where the owner can no longer provide shelter,â€ Ratcliffe said.
Another booth at Paws All Day in Elburn was for The Leader Dogs for the Blind, whose representative, Carroll Jackson, drove to Elburn from Jacksonville, Ill. to participate. Jackson said the organization has been in existence for 71 years.
â€œWe just graduated our 14,000th dog in March,â€ he said.
Other booths at Paws All Day in Elburn offered information from pet-adoption organizations and pet groomers.
The eventâ€™s organizers plan to bring back the event annually. They hope it will grow every year and that future vendors will include more pet-rescue groups and low-cost spay and neuter organizations.
Photo: Smokey the Great Dane. Photo by Ben Draper