BLOOMINGTON — Several canine rescue groups have partnered to inform the public about ways to provide safe and loving homes for dogs and for the groups to help each other.

Operation Canine Rescue will be Saturday at Town and Country Kennel Club in Bloomington. No onsite adoptions will be offered, but each of the 11 Central Illinois rescue groups is expected to bring a few dogs so visitors can meet and learn about certain breeds while also enjoying how to volunteer, foster a pet, watch K-9 demonstrations and learn about training options.

Lead organizer Laurie Retzer of Clinton, a member of As Good As Gold golden retriever rescue group, came across the idea during a meet-and-greet session at a Joliet pet store.

“We’re hoping not only to interest (adopters and) volunteers, but also to coordinate with other rescues” for transportation and other needs. “The breeds are all different, but we all have the same needs,” she said.

Each rescue group has its own coverage area and set of rules. The get-together will allow potential pet owners to learn about each group, each breed and how they can help.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for people to learn and see what’s available” beyond purchasing from breeders, said Gold member Diane Dale of Bloomington. Almost all rescue groups have their animals spayed or neutered before they are adopted, since unchecked population growth is one of the reasons for a number of abandoned or stray animals.

Marcia Nelson of Bloomington, another Gold member, also wants the event to provide a way for families to learn about other ways to give up pets they no longer can keep, because most breed groups will house or foster those animals until a suitable adoption option arises.

Although traditional shelters and outright sales are common, she warns that “free to good home” offers sometimes attract people who want to use the animal for fights.

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