February 3, 2109 – JONESBORO, AR – The Jonesboro Open presented by Prodiscus, the third stop on the 2019 Disc Golf Pro Tour, has announced a partnership with The Arkansas Pet Savers (TAPS) organization to raise funds and awareness for the charitable organization. The mission of The Arkansas Pet Savers is to pull death row dogs about to be euthanized. Unlike other pet rescue organizations, Pet Savers does not have a permanent facility anywhere in the state of Arkansas. Members of the group use their own homes and resources to foster dogs until either a family adopts the dogs, or they are transported to other parts of the country that need available family pets.
Arkansas Pet Savers was established in 2014 but began expanding their footprint in 2017 and has active members and volunteers across the state. The event coordinator, Kendra Wattelet, had this to say about the partnership, “The Arkansas Pet Savers are honored to collaborate with the 2019 Jonesboro Open. This is a fantastic event spotlighting the city of Jonesboro and will bring National, as well as, International attention to Arkansas. It is our hope that the success of this event will bring a greater awareness of homeless pets within our region.“ Wattelet continued, “Knowing that I played a part in saving so many abandoned pets is the greatest feeling in the world. It can definitely be sad and overwhelming but when I look into the eyes of a dog we have pulled from death’s door, it is 100% worth it.
I want other people to know that being involved in rescue doesn’t mean just fostering and donating, there are so many other ways to help and I invite anyone who is interested in helping to contact our page.”
Over the years TAPS has purchased a cargo van and configured it to hold over twenty kennels. Once all options to find a local forever home have been exhausted, members will drive the van to cities like Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville, Palatine IL, Bellingham MA, East Hartford CT, Monticello and Minnetoka Minnesota where there are more families looking for pets than dogs to meet that demand. Wattelet stated in 2018 there were 25 trips in the van saving 471 dogs and cats in the process. They are on pace to save over 800 pets in 2019 as the group has already made six trips saving 97 dogs and cats this year.
Tournament Director Brad Pietz says this has been a goal for the tournament from the beginning, stating, “I want the Jonesboro Open to be more than just a tournament, I want it to be an event that the entire community can rally around and grow each year. I want the proceeds of the event to go to an organization that does a service in the community and this seems like a perfect fit.” Pietz continued, “Many disc golfers across the county have ‘disc dogs’ that go to the course with them every time; and I would guess the vast majority are rescues. My family adopted a rescue dog about five years ago and she goes with me as much as possible and loves going to the disc golf course!”
Members of The Arkansas Pet Savers are going to work before the tournament selling sponsorships and during the tournament as volunteers at the course. After the tournament, a portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated back to TAPS to help continue their mission. This is the fourth season of the Disc Golf Pro Tour and the third year for the Jonesboro Open presented by Prodiscus. The tournament will be held on April 12-14, 2019 at the Disc Side of Heaven Championship Course near RidgePointe Country Club.
For more information go to JonesboroOpen.com or to learn more about TAPS search for them on Facebook.
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Owner – Disc Side of Heaven
Tournament Director – Jonesboro Open
Event Coordinator – The Arkansas Pet Savers