Woofs and Wheels to benefit local animal groups

Republic file photo Three Beards Strummin’ will perform at Woofs and Wheels, a benefit for local animal advocacy groups.

What began as a pet supply competition between five auto dealerships in Columbus has evolved into a full-blown party for pet and Jeep lovers.

“Woofs and Wheels” will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 15 at the Jeep division of Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM of Columbus, 3020 N. National Road.

With an invitation to “rock for a ‘pawsome’ cause,” patrons are urged to catch a 1 p.m. performance by the acoustic rock group “Three Beards Strummin’.” In addition, Jeep clubs from Bartholomew and Brown counties will be on hand to show their vehicles and compete for a prize, Bartholomew County Humane Society Shelter Director Kirsten VantWoud said.

But the true stars of the event will be the pets being brought in by four animal advocacy groups: the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Columbus Animal Care, the Community Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) organization and the Brown County Humane Society.

There’s a good reason to link Jeep owners with pets, VantWoud said. A recent Autotrader survey finds that 85% of dog owners think about driving with their dogs when considering what vehicle to buy. The survey also shows the Jeep Wrangler can be found on the list of 10 best cars for dog lovers.

“Jeep people tend to be big animal lovers,” VantWoud said. “They usually do a lot of camping and hiking with their dogs, and I think the Columbus Auto Group picked up on that big time.”

Organizers says there will be no high pressure tactics use to convince anyone to either adopt an animal or buy a new Jeep, organizers said.

“This is really just a good opportunity for the public to come and enjoy the work we do, as well as find out the fun that members of the Jeep clubs have,” VantWoud said.

Bartholomew County Humane Society will lower its adoption fees to just $50 during Woofs and Wheels, she said. There will also be a game featuring Jeeps and rubber duckies that could provide an even larger discount for a pet adoption, VantWoud said.

There will also be drop off stations for animal lovers donate to food, animal supplies and money, she said.

In addition, animal experts will be available to offer advice on local low-cost spay and neutering programs, as well as micro-chipping pets. VantWoud said.

There will also be school organizations selling concessions such as hot dogs, chips and drinks, VantWoud said.

The Columbus Auto Group consists of Chevrolet of Columbus, Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM of Columbus, Ford of Columbus, Hyundai of Columbus and Nissan of Columbus.