Human-canine fundraising run returns

Published on Monday, 4 September 2017 21:37


SOUTHINGTON - The second annual Layza’s Run for Rescue comes to the Mount Southington Ski Area on Sept. 17, offering dogs and their owners the opportunity to run side by side to benefit the Best Friends for Life Animal Rescue.

The event starts at 8 a.m. at the ski area, 396 Mount Vernon Road, with a “blessing of the animals” by Rev. Gary DeRosa of Higher Ground Christian Church.

The races, a 5K and a 10K, will then begin at 8:30 a.m., running straight along Mount Vernon Road toward Lincoln College and then heading back. Participants can run with their dogs or by themselves.

The event will also include T-shirts and prizes, including gift cards and trophies, awarded to men and women competing in several age classes.

“I do a lot of runs and it is pretty unique to have a run/walk that people can do with their dogs,” said Tony Bagliore, the race organizer. “It didn’t start out that way, but last year a lot of people came with their dogs.”

Proceeds will support Best Friends for Life, a local network of 10 foster homes that Bagliore said was founded in 2002 and helps to place 100 dogs each year in loving homes.

The money raised will cover medical bills and food for the dogs.

“We started off small, working with local shelters in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport,” said Bagliore. “Now we are working with a lot of southern shelters where there are a lot of highly adoptable dogs that are being euthanized. We would like to work toward setting up educational programs with the schools where we’ll teach that people are the problem, not the dogs.

“People need to be responsible enough to understand that when they are taking in a dog, it is a 15-year commitment. Pets are not disposable. That is why we have people who adopt from us sign ‘promise to my pet’ paperwork.”

Bagliore said he has received a donation from local police officers and American Medical Response has donated use of an ambulance during the event. Stop & Shop has donated apples and oranges and Fancy Bagels will provide bagels.

People are welcome to donate gift cards and prizes and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Bagliore added that Best Friends for Life Animal Rescue is “always looking for more volunteers.”

“It is hard to find good foster homes and we hope that this event will be a good way to put ourselves out there for the community and to help educate people about the issue,” said Bagliore.

The cost to participate is $27 for the 5K race or $32 for the 10K.

To register, visit For more information, call Bagliore at 860-747-5412 or search for Best Friends for Life Animal Rescue on Facebook.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News, Southington Herald, Bristol on Monday, 4 September 2017 21:37. Updated: Monday, 4 September 2017 21:40.