Alabama Pug Rescue puts on Pugs and Pumpkins

Published 3:50 pm Monday, October 30, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM – The annual ‘Pugs and Pumpkins’ kicked off at Oak Mountain State Park on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“We’ve done ‘Pugs and Pumpkins’ for about 15 years now,” said Alabama Pug Rescue and Adoption founder Pam Strange. “We had its sister event, ‘Pugs on Parade,’ and we started ‘Pugs and Pumpkins’ to help promote that event, and then this one was just such a hit.”

Strange founded Alabama Pug Rescue and Adoption after her own experience adopting and caring for an abandoned pug years ago.

“It was just a crazy pug that I adopted, and I found out that he had all kinds of issues,” Strange said. “In that process, I learned so much about the breed, and I wanted to educate more people about them.”

Today, Strange’s nonprofit focuses on taking care of elderly pugs and pug mixes who suffer from various issues and have been either surrendered or abandoned by their original owners. 11 of these dogs are permanent residents of the program and events like ‘Pugs and Pumpkins’ help the Alabama Pug Rescue raise money to care for these dogs.

As part of their fundraising efforts, ‘Pugs and Pumpkins’ included a large silent auction that included pug-themed memorabilia and the opportunity for pug owners to have pictures of their dogs taken with Santa Claus. The event wound up having several hundred attendees, and many of them brought their own dogs, both pugs and other breeds.

Strange noted that she was thrilled with the event’s turnout, as the funding will help give many dogs the resources they need to continue living long and happy lives. 

Accompanying Strange at ‘Pugs and Pumpkins’ was her own rescued pug, Mysti.

“She was a rescue that came to us in really bad shape,” Strange said. “Mysti was sent to us from Boston, and she had liver disease and needed a lot of surgeries. But we kept going because I knew she had so much to offer.”

Mysti was recently badged at Children’s Hospital and now works as a therapy dog for another local non-profit, Hand in Paw.

“We like to be able to give dogs a job,” Strange said. “We like to be able to give them something to do, and Mysti loves her job.”