December 23, 2019 – JONESBORO, AR – The Play It Again Sports Jonesboro Open, the third stop on the 2020 Disc Golf Pro Tour, has renewed its partnership with the local organization The Arkansas Pet Savers (TAPS). The goal is to raise funds and awareness for the charitable organization. The mission of TAPS is to pull death row dogs about to be euthanized out of local facilities. Unlike other pet rescue organizations, TAPS does not have a permanent location 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.
The goal all along for the Play It Again Sports Jonesboro Open has been to help a local or regional charity both financially and promotionally. In 2019 TAPS volunteers helped before, during and after the professional disc golf tournament by selling sponsorships, manning the front gate, selling merchandise, directing traffic and several other duties. After the event, Assistant Tournament Director Jordan Lane presented the members of TAPS with a $1,400 check to assist their cause on rescuing dogs and cats that are scheduled to be put down.
The 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, “TAPS is honored to be invited back as the featured charity for the 2020 Jonesboro Open. We love that Brad and all the staff share our love for animals and they are gracious enough to help us spread awareness that will reach thousands of people who may not otherwise hear about us.” Wattelet added, “We hope to be able to help grow the disc golf community in Northeast Arkansas in return for this great opportunity.”
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. They are on pace to save over 600 pets this year.
Tournament Director Brad Pietz says the partnership worked well in 2019 and looks for more in 2020. Pietz stated “The passion and commitment this group has toward saving these animals is evident. Each one truly cares and they sacrifice a lot to get homes for the dogs.” Pietz continued, “They helped tremendously last year during the tournament and I am looking forward to working with them once again. I want the Play It Again Sports Jonesboro Open to become a community event that not only brings people to town but brings us together as well.”
This is the fifth season of the Disc Golf Pro Tour and the fourth year for the Jonesboro Open. The tournament will be held on April 17-19, 2020 at the Disc Side of Heaven Championship Course near RidgePointe Country Club.
Owner – Disc Side of Heaven
Tournament Director – Jonesboro Open
Event Coordinator – The Arkansas Pet Savers