LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – For some very special pups and their parents, Saturday night went to the dogs – the Bulldogs, to be exact.
Talk about a doggone good time.
Each year, the rescue organizes a fun-loving gala, and among the attendees, the Bulldogs themselves. They are considered the VIP’s of the night, often seen posing and picture-taking with partygoers.
Florida English Bulldog Rescue hosted its third annual fundraiser, “Bulldog Burlesque,” in Lakeland where man’s best friend was celebrated at a Mardi Gras-themed party.
These Bulldogs know how to bring the party, along with the positivity.
The annual event brings together volunteers, pet parents, friends and supporters of Florida English Bulldog Rescue for an evening filled with gratitude and hope, where the passion to save lives continues to inspire those involved with the organization.
In fact, year after year, “Bulldog Burlesque” has quickly become a favorite night on the calendar.
This year’s fundraiser was held at Haus 820 in Lakeland where powerful success stories were shared, detailing the efforts of hardworking volunteers. The role they play is crucial, as they often find dogs in dire need of help amidst heartbreaking conditions.
These passionate volunteers work quickly to get pups the help they need to survive, then thrive.
This year alone, 100 dogs are part of this ongoing success story, according to organizers, Bulldogs who are alive, healthy and happy in their forever homes.
The rescue prides itself on being 100-percent volunteer-based. There are no paid staff members whatsoever.
One of those dedicated volunteers is Storm Team 8’s Julie Phillips.
This longtime dog mom has raised many a Bulldog in her life. She currently has three! Julie and her fellow volunteers have fostered countless bullies, helping them on their way to healing with a forever home in their future.
Julie says she enjoys volunteering with Florida English Bulldog Rescue, and the reason is simple. “I love Bulldogs, I always have,” she explained. “I just love it.”
Florida English Bulldog Rescue began in 2007 with an idea by Jennifer Corman. She pulled an emaciated English bulldog named Smudge from a Shelter in Miami and wasn’t sure he’d make it through the night.
But, he did.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Smudge lit the fire, and Florida English Bulldog Rescue was born. More than ten years later, the rescue is going strong. The organization continues to carry out its original mission – saving lives by providing Bulldogs with critical medical care and a safe space for recovery whether it’s a foster home or a more permanent setting.
According to organizers, “Bulldog Burlesque” has become the largest fundraiser of Florida English Bulldog Rescue, allowing volunteers to provide the best veterinary care for all dog they encounter, no matter what condition the animals may face.