Michigan Ford Dealer Shares Passion for Animals

Calling all animal-lovers!

Julie Walker, president, Fairlane Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, is an animal lover, philanthropist and long-time supporter of animal rescues. Today, Walker is a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit Animal Adoption Center in Dearborn, Michigan and is currently participating in their Paws and Pajamas fundraiser.   

For the event, local celebrities and business leaders were asked to spend an evening at the animal adoption and education center caring for a rescue pup and promoting them on their social media channels. Each participant was charged with raising $5,000, with the ultimate goal of raising $50,000 total. As of writing this story, Walker had raised $4,985.  

“My involvement with the shelter started in 2009 when 105 chihuahuas were found in a home in Dearborn,” said Walker. “The effort to house and socialize these dogs was huge.  Cages were stacked on top of cages and the washer and dryer couldn’t handle the volume of blankets.  I remember picking up garbage bags of laundry to take to Duds and Suds on Michigan Ave.” 

Since then, Walker has been involved in growing and improving the shelter and its offerings.

“We now have a fully equipped facility that can adequately house the animals in a healthy environment and provide space for staff and volunteers to be able to do their amazing work,” said Walker. “We even have an area for people to meet and spend time while they decide on their new family member.  Dearborn’s new animal adoption and education center has improved the lives of the animals and increased their visibility and adoptions.”

In addition to her work with the shelter, for many years Walker and Fairlane Ford have been the Alpha Dog sponsor for Mutt Strut event that showcases vehicles that are pet-crates compatible.  For Black Tie and Tails, the dealership has been a valet sponsor and also offers up a boating adventure for the related silent auction.  They even have opened up the dealership to K9 officers in training, allowing them to use the space to practice scouting for planted contraband items.

“Whenever Fairlane Ford has an event, we invite the shelter to bring in adoptable animals,” said Walker. “For 5 years now, our employees have donated $10 on Friday for Jean Day.  We keep looking for new ways to help.”

Walker would someday like to create a foundation to help educate and provide no cost spaying and neutering.  “The best way to save animals starts with reducing the pet overpopulation problem,” she said.

“I feel so fortunate that we have such a huge group of Friends that work so hard to make our community a better place for animals,” said Walker. “I am proud to support a shelter that believes in saving all adoptable animals.  Helping to re-home pets is something that will be a lifelong commitment for me.”

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