Bikers Combat Animal Cruelty with Food, Music
The 11th annual Bikers Against Animal Cruelty Motorcycle Rally and Adoption Event returns to the North Haven Fairgrounds on Saturday, Aug. 18. As at last year’s event (pictured) guests and their dogs can enjoy live music, food, and around 100 vendors. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Motorcycle enthusiasts are once again taking the fight against animal cruelty to the North Haven Fairgrounds with food and live music, offering a good time for all in support of a good cause.
Bikers Against Animal Cruelty, Inc. (BAAC) hosts this rally annually to raise money for its yearly efforts to support abused and neglected animals and the shelters and animal rescues that house them.
BAAC started in 2007 after NFL player Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring was discovered. BAAC founders Cindy and VJ Peregolise, Jr. felt they had to step up.
Greg Belcher, now president of the organization, joined BAAC “for the animal aspect and the motorcycle aspect,” he said. It was a way to “put two passions together.”
Money raised by the combination of these passions during events like this 11th annual North Haven rally go directly to paying the vet bills of animals in need.
The event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 1 to 6 p.m. With four bands set to perform, there will be live music all day and vendors selling motorcycle products, pet supplies, and everything in between. Admission is $20 and includes a buffet picnic-style meal.
For the price of admission, “you can eat to your heart’s content,” Belcher said.
Though he’s unsure of the amount raised by last year’s event, Belcher said, “It was a good day.”
He added that five animals were adopted during the rally and more may have been taken in as a result.
“We had a lot of good supporters,” he said. “Close to 800 people.”
Though BAAC is itself not a rescue, the nonprofit organization will host 25 rescues and shelters this year, up from just 15 last August. Many of these shelters will have animals up for adoption on-site, while others will provide photos of their animals and adoption information.
“We always try to get a few more [shelters] than the year before,” said Belcher.
He hopes that turnout for this year’s event will be good, but isn’t worried about setting specific goals for the day.
“Whatever we can do to bring in [money] will help,” he said. “Every little penny counts.”
This year, Rescue K9-11 is a sponsor of the event and will be just one of the representing animal shelters providing adoptable pets to attendees. Belcher expects shelters to have dogs, cats, and maybe even birds available for adoption by healthy homes.
While Belcher said that dogs, cats, and even horses are amongst the most in-need animals, the BAAC does not focus on any one group.
“Any kind of animal that was abused by a human, we’ll help out as much as we can,” he said.
In the past, BAAC has helped the nearby All the Kings Horses Equestrian Rescue and the Branford Compassion Club as well as many others throughout Connecticut.
In addition to the North Haven fundraiser, BAAC hosts a bowling night, visits with Santa, and a number of motorcycle rides throughout the year, during which they distribute donated supplies to affiliated rescues and shelters.
Pet supplies delivered by BAAC come from donations made to the group. Things like pet food and cat litter are always in demand. Monetary donations can be made to their website. Pickups of pet supplies can be arranged through the contact form also on bikersagainstanimalcruelty.org.
Money raised in North Haven on Aug. 18 will help to supplement the veterinarian bills of animals across the state.
“I hope we get a good turnout to help as many animals as we can,” Belcher said.