Bridesmaids walk shelter dogs down aisle instead of carrying bouquets

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CASSVILLE, Mo. – A couple from Ozark decided to change up a common wedding tradition.

Instead of carrying bouquets down the aisle, they walked shelter dogs up for adoption.  

“Rescue is something that is so near and dear to my heart,” Sally said. “I just thought that that would be amazing to have dogs that are looking for homes to be a part of our day.” 

“We were hopeful that we would get just donations from the guests and maybe one would get adopted.” 

Sally says she’s been volunteering with shelter Haven of the Ozarks for about eight years. 

“I just go around and spend time with the dogs walk them, give them treats,” said Sally. “They don’t turn anybody away they take wonderful care of these dogs and these cats, so they just mean a lot to me.” 

Her husband, Cary, says helping out animals is something Sally is very passionate about. 

“I had lost a dog of mine, and she was showing me rescue dogs and that’s essentially what linked us together,” Cary said. “Was through rescue dogs.” 

All of the dogs that were in the Burky’s wedding were adopted.  

“The last one that was in the ceremony with us, her name was Yazzy and she just got adopted yesterday,” Sally said. “She was the last one that was a part of the ceremony and she finally got a home.” 

The shelter says it likes to participate in fun events to showcase the dogs and give them more exposure.  

“Anytime we can give the dogs more exposure, it gives them a better chance at getting adopted,” said Jennifer Silverberg with Haven of the Ozarks. 

She says the publicity of the wedding lead to donations from across the country.  

“It’s definitely helped us we’ve had lots of people who have never heard of the Haven have followed us on Facebook or Instagram,” said Silverberg. “We’ve gotten donations from California to New York. 

“People are saying they saw our story and want to make a donation to help the cause and help our animals. 

 “It’s been great because without funding, we can’t take care of these animals because we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We don’t receive any government funding.” 

Sally said she’s glad she was able to have something she’s so passionate about, be a part of their wedding day.  

Haven of the Ozarks is a no-kill shelter. They are accepting new volunteers and donations.  

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