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Together we as a community can make a difference in homeless animals' lives! Register Now For An Early Bird Special!


Happy Life Animal Rescue (HLAR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN #: 81-1804421) dedicated to improving the lives of abused, neglected, and abandoned animals by working to ensure that homeless animals are safe and sheltered and promoting programs to ensure responsible pet ownership, support the humane treatment of animals, and ending animal overpopulation.



HLAR’s vision is to be the regional leader in placing abused, neglected, and abandoned dogs and cats into loving forever homes and to become a trusted animal welfare resource within the community.  We will do this by engaging in community outreach and providing programs and services to educate our volunteers and the public on best practices in animal welfare while supporting the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of homeless animals.

HLAR was founded in 2016 by the Forster Family to help find qualified adoptive homes for abused, neglected, and abandoned dogs and cats.  Initially, HLAR volunteers cared for the animals in their own homes or worked to place the animals into foster homes within the community and adoption events were held at various merchant locations throughout Dutchess and Putnam County.  In 2023, with the generous support of numerous donors, HLAR was able to purchase the building at 550 NY-22 in Pawling, New York.  The building had previously been a veterinary office and came with kennels and four outdoor runs so that HLAR could create a central adoption center and expand its rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption services with animals being housed both onsite and in foster homes.


Despite numerous challenges along the way, not the least of which was the global COVID-19 pandemic, HLAR has continued to fulfill its mission and has to date helped more than 2,000 dogs and cats placed into their forever homes.  In keeping with its vision statement, HLAR is now undertaking a long-range development plan which ultimately will culminate in the opening an expanded and modernized facility to increase HLAR’s capacity to safely house and rehabilitate abused, neglected, and abandoned animals and to provide space for the training and education of HLAR volunteers and the public.  As part of this plan, we hope to establish an in-house clinic to enable the provision of basic veterinary care, including spaying/neutering, for the animals under HLAR’s care in a more cost-effective manner while making available lower cost spay/neuter opportunities to the public and the possibility of establishing a Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) program to help control animal overpopulation.

Days Until The Event!!!

Event Info!


Lakeside Park

2 Lakeside Drive

Pawling, NY 12564


Sunday, June 9th

All registered participants in the Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk or Kid’s Fun Run will receive a custom-designed finisher’s medal and a goodie bag full of valuable items from our sponsors.  Those who fundraise at least $100 above the registration fee will receive a complimentary event t-shirt.  The Pawsitive Strides Kid’s Fun Run is restricted to children 12 years old or younger.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All dogs must be leashed at all times, be current on all required vaccinations, and be non-aggressive toward people and other animals.

Frequently Asked Questions!

The Healthy Life Expo and Fair, which includes the Pawsitive Strides 5K and Kid’s Run, take place at Lakeside Park in Pawling, NY on Sunday (June 9, 2024).

No. Anyone can purchase admission to the Healthy Life Expo & Fair, however registered participants in the Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk or Kid’s Fun Run will receive complementary as part of their registration fee.

Select the “Virtual Option” when registering for the Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk. and still be eligible to receive a finisher medal, and goodie bag, and qualify for fundraising awards. Just complete a 5K on your own and submit the finishing time to Happy Life by 6:00 PM on Saturday (June 8, 2024). Unfortunately, there is no virtual option for the Kid’s Fun Run.

The Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk will be chip-timed, however, is not intended to be a competitive athletic event. Participants can run or walk the 5K event as fast or as leisurely as desired. There will however be awards for the top individual and team fundraisers. The Pawsitive Strides Kid’s Fun Run is intended to be a race with awards for the top male and female finishers.

Agility training is a sport in which dogs navigate through a timed obstacle course made up of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and walkways. We are working with a sponsor to build a HLAR agility course that perhaps will be part of the competition in the future, but for this year, it will be part of the Expo & Fair for dogs and their owners to try out and vie for bragging rights within the Happy Life family.

To encourage the extended HLAR family join us on this first step to building a new and modernized facility to better care for abandoned, neglected, and abused animals and provide needed services and support to the community, we are offering a discounted registration fee to anyone who commits to raise at least $100 above their registration fee to personally donate whatever amount is needed to meet that goal by the fundraising deadline.

No, the event registration fee does not count toward any fundraising prizes. Only funds raised above the registration fee will count for the complementary event t-shirt and other prizes.

Yes. Go to the “Participant Info” section to download a copy of our Fundraising Guide to help you get started.

Fundraising Guide V1

Registered participants for any of the events, to include those attending the Healthy Life Expo & Fair only, will be able to create a fundraising page and have access to other event-specific fundraising tools. Those interested in fundraising but not participating in any of these events should contact Happy Life at:

Donations will be accepted at any time, but to qualify for any fundraising awards, donations must be received by 6:00 on Saturday (June 8, 2024). Place cash and checks in an envelope marked with the participant’s full name and the amount enclosed written legibly on it and dropped off at the HLAR Adoption Center before the fundraising deadline. If donations indicate an entire team, HLAR will select one member of that team, at our discretion, and add the amount to that individual’s fundraising.

The Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk and Kid’s Fun Run are family-friendly event and children can participate. Parents who are registered for the 5K Run/Walk can have one (1) child 12-years old or younger join them without paying an additional registration fee. Children 12-years old or younger participating in the Pawsitive Strides Kid’s Fun Run or in the Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk by themselves must be individually registered for the event.

Dogs that are non-aggressive toward people and other animals are welcome in the Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk. All dogs must be current on their vaccinations and always leashed. The use of retractable leashes, to include bungy-style leashes, is prohibited at any time. Each participant may have one (1) dog accompany them and that dog will receive a race bandana indicating whether or not they are a HLAR alumni. Dogs are not permitted to participate in the Pawsitive Strides Kid’s Fun Run.

All registered participants in the Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk or Kid’s Fun Run can pick up their goodie bags at the registration table when they check-in for the event on the morning of June, 9, 2024. The t-shirt for anyone who met the fundraising requirements will be in the goodie bag. Anyone who earned a prize but cannot stay for the Awards Ceremony can call to schedule a time to come pick it up at the Happy Life Adoption Center in Pawling.

If you start but don’t finish the Pawsitive Strides 5K Run/Walk or Kid’s Fun Run, let an HLAR staff member know so we can get you the medical, veterinary, or other help you need. You are still eligible to receive a finisher’s medal, if you met the April 30, 2024, registration deadline, and an event t-shirt, if you met the minimum fundraising goal. Just let us know if you still want these items and we can coordinate a time for you to pick them up at the Happy Life Adoption Center.

Proudly Sponsored By!

Pawsitive Strides Tier 5 Top Sponsor
Pawsitive Strides Tier 5 Top Sponsor
Pawsitive Strides Tier 4 Sponsor!