More than 80 supporters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals turned out to help the organization raise funds and awareness at a motorcycle in their honor. The ride started in Maryville and ended in Townsend.
SPCA president Vickey Dennis said about 20 motorcycle riders participated in the May 22 event that raised $1,300. The riders began at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and ended at The Bunkhouse Inn on the Little River where they enjoyed a home-cooked meal with such favorites as barbecue, potato salad, brownies, peach cobbler and banana pudding.
There was also a silent auction. “It was fantastic. The Dixie Iron Riders did a great job making sure everyone was protected, and everyone had a great time,” said Dennis. “We had people who didn’t ride come up for the dinner to eat and then participate in the silent auction to support us.”
The Blount chapter of the organization is about 18 months old. They are in the process of obtaining a 501c3, not-for-profit, status and are already at work with local law enforcement to bring to light and help investigate animal cruelty cases in Blount County.
“It’s all volunteer,” said Dennis. “We rely solely on public donations to care for animals we remove from these situations. And we rely on foster homes to take the animals in.”
Dennis said she is encouraged by the response to the local SPCA so far. “I think on a basic level, animal cruelty affects the community.”