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BOONE: Helping furry friends one step at a time

Special Photo Bessie, a pit bull/terrier mix, was recently adopted at the SPCA in Suwanee.

Special Photo Bessie, a pit bull/terrier mix, was recently adopted at the SPCA in Suwanee.

It was love at first sight when our eyes met across the room. Johnny's brown eyes and slight overbite caught my attention right away. I knew I wanted to take him out and that he would be willing to go.

Johnny the beagle was the first dog I walkedas a volunteer at the SPCA in Suwanee back at the end of October. He was so happy to be outside. And who knew my water bottle would turn into a fun toy for Johnny to pick up and throw down the hill and chase, taking me along with him?

Four weeks after I met Johnny, he was adopted. I thought I would be really sad when he wouldn't be at the shelter anymore to greet me with his wagging tail and sweet eyes. But when I found out he was adopted by a family with children, I knew he was happy.

I've been fortunate enough to walk so many different dogs over the past few weeks such as Bessie, a pit bull/terrier mix and Neiko, a retriever/labrador mix, that just wants to jump and play in the bushes around the Suwanee Greenway. And then there's Swift, a Siberian husky/Australian shepherd mix, that definitely lives up to her name and just wants to run very fast.

It's a great feeling knowing I'm making these animals so happy by just taking them outside and playing with them. And it's an even better feeling knowing all the animals are in such good hands at the SPCA, which is a no-kill organization where all the pets taken in are spayed or neutered. The employees work very hard to make sure the facility is always clean but most importantly, they want to teach responsible pet ownership.

I want to encourage the community to volunteer at the SPCA in Suwanee. Whether it's just once a week or every day, the facility is always looking for help. If dog walking isn't of interest to you, you can help clean the cages, help with laundry or foster pets at your home until they are old enough to be spayed or neutered. Or you can put on your running shoes and take part in the second annual Run for the Rescues 5K and Fun Run at 9 a.m. March 24 at Suwanee Town Center Park. Pets will be available for adoption on site and the community is encouraged to bring their dogs to run with them.

For more information on volunteering or the 5K, visit www.georgiaspca.org or stop by the facility at 1175 Buford Highway, Suite 109 in Suwanee.

Tori Boone is a copy editor for the Daily Post. Email her at tori.boone@gwinnettdailypost.com.