Virginia Tech hosts first Pups ‘n Polo event

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Virginia Tech’s polo club hosted a new event on Sunday to help pets in need of a home.

The club teamed up with local animal welfare groups to host its first Pups ‘n Polo event.

Virginia Tech alumni gathered for a friendly polo match, and people were encouraged to bring their pups to watch.

“We have horses near us, so she’s seen them before, but I don’t think she’s seen it with people riding them, so I’m not sure if she knows what that’s all about,” said Brian Loop, who brought his basset hound Rosie to watch the match. 

“As we are an equestrian group, we think it’s really important to give back to the groups that we’re also very close with, as dogs and horses go together a lot,” said Ella Rak, polo club president.

Donations from the event benefit pets in the area looking for homes, which is an important cause to the polo club, Rak said. 

The event also featured some pets from Montgomery County’s animal shelter up for adoption.

“Just showing people how awesome these dogs are out in public will really get them into the shelter, get them adopted,” said Eileen Mahan, director of the Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Mahan said the event helps raise awareness about adoption, which is particularly helpful at a time when the organization is building a brand-new facility.

“A lot of people say, ‘Oh, there’s not enough homes for all the homeless animals,’ and the truth is there really are enough homes,” she said. “We just have to get out there, let people know that these are great dogs that just need homes.”

The donations raised at the event will help the Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center and the Animal Welfare Foster Program, Rak said. 

Organizers are hoping to bring the Pups ‘n Polo event back next year, Rak added. 

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