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Runners, dogs brave rain for Run for Rescues

Staff Photo: John Bohn Runners and their dogs brave heavy rainfall at the start the Georgia SPCA 3rd annual Run for the Rescues 5K race near Suwanee Town Center Park on Saturday. A Fun Run and dog festival were also offered.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Runners and their dogs brave heavy rainfall at the start the Georgia SPCA 3rd annual Run for the Rescues 5K race near Suwanee Town Center Park on Saturday. A Fun Run and dog festival were also offered.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Denise Wallace, of Norcross, prepares her dog Coal, an English Labrador retriever, for the Fun Run as the Georgia SPCA holds their 3rd annual Run for the Rescues 5K, Fun Run and dog festival at Suwanee Town Center Park on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Christina Natt, of Decatur, prepares her dog Duggie, a West Highland terrier, for the Georgia SPCA 3rd annual Run for the Rescues 5K at Suwanee Town Center Park on Saturday. A Fun Run and dog festival also took place.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Charlotte Bray, of Swanee, protects her dog Smokie from heavy rain at the Georgia SPCA 3rd annual Run for the Rescues 5K, fun run and dog festival held at Suwanee Town Center Park on Saturday.

SUWANEE -- Rain and cold didn't deter more than 300 runners and their dogs as the Georgia SPCA hosted its fourth Run for Rescues 5K and Fun Run on Saturday at the town square in Suwanee.

Although the rain was unforgiving, owners and dogs alike enjoyed the run together.

"We had all sorts of dogs here," race organizer Chris Muller said. "From great danes to hounds to bulldogs, there were a lot out here."

Muller said having the owners and the more than 150 dogs participating was even more special considering the weather.

"We were worried because of the weather," she said. "But people still showed up."

One of those racers was Duane Brooks of Lawrenceville, who brought out his dog Gracie.

"I'm a huge animal lover and rescues are the right way to go," he said. "Bringing Gracie out here was a blast. I wanted to get her out of the house and get her to meet other dogs. This was a great way to do it."

Brooks said he's had Gracie since July and has loved every minute of it.

"She's adjusted well and is a great dog to have," he said.

Bailey Roth won the men's overall title in 16:51, while Johan Desmet (18:12) took the men's masters. Christine Willis (22:37) won the women's race, while Sue Payne (26:57) won the women's masters.

Georgia SPCA is a nonprofit pet rescue center that specializes in reducing the number of healthy animals euthanized in Georgia. They do this by implementing successful adoption programs, offering low-cost spay/neuter services to the public and promoting responsible pet ownership.

"We want to find these animals homes," Muller said. "We had one case where one dog was in a foster home for three years, but finally got adopted and has been successful since."

Last year, Georgia SPCA raised $17,000 for the event and Muller said $25,000 was the goal this year.

"We need to work as a community to save these animals," she said.