BALTIMORE — If you're thinking of bringing a furry friend into your family, head to Royal Farms Arena on Saturday, April 27 for Pawject Runway.
Adoptable pets from BARCS will be walking the runway with celebrities to raise money for the shelter.
John Rallo is co-chair of the fundraiser. He's considered Baltimore's godfather of Mixed Martial Arts and is also one of the original Softies of the Show Your Soft Side campaign.
"The fashion show obviously is it but that’s us walking the true stars of the main event down the runway," he said.
Show Your Soft Side helps to organize the fundraiser, now in its seventh year. The campaign showcases athletes like Rallo with animals and is meant to bring awareness about animal abuse.
"It is to show you can be a tough guy, you can be an athlete and you can have a soft side, you can care for the animals," Rallo said.
Other Softies will be walking the runway on Saturday including Ravens players Chris Moore, Nick Boyle, Ronnie Stanley and Brent Ubran as well as former Ravens players Torrey Smith, Ryan Jensen and Lawrence Guy.
And Rallo says the players don't just donate their time, they donate big bucks too.
"Last year every animal was adopted and Torrey, Ryan and Lawrence paid all the adoption fees for the animals that were adopted at the event," he said.
Rallo is also a board member for BARCS and knows the impact the shelter makes every day on the homeless pets in Baltimore. According to the shelter's annual lifesaving report, BARCS saved more than 10,000 cats and dogs in 2018. It's operating costs were more than $4.5 million.
The report said in 2004, when current executive director Jennifer Brause took over the city shelter, the kill rate at BARCS was close to 98%. In 2018, the shelter was able to save 90% of the animals brought into its care.
"Its pretty amazing, taking in the number of animals they do, in some years its been as high as 12,000 animals in a single year and you save 90% of them," said Rallo. "That’s pretty impressive."
Pawject Runway is Saturday April 27 at Royal Farms Arena. Tickets are $35. There will be food, drinks, music, a silent auction, a kissing booth with pets and adoptable pets from BARCS. To purchase a ticket, click here.