Dogs and pet owners flock to the Vista to support the Columbia Humane Society.
Courtney says one of the challenges faced was trying to cram all of the planning into one semester.
Erin says the Humane Society is able to reduce the number of unwanted kittens which also can reduce the number of animals put to rest.
By: Iesha Marshall
USC's Festival Planning and Tourism Management class had only one semester to plan a fundraiser for a non-profit. This year it's "For the Love of Paws" held at Tin Roof in the Vista that allowed families and pets to enjoy a Sunday of fun.
Students held pet adoptions, brought in food vendors, had a band and a silent auction to help reach their goal fundraising goal of $40,000 for the Columbia Humane Society.
Professor Annette Hoover says they pick different non-profits every semester.
"There are so many non-profits that don't have the funds to put on an event so we help them out." said Hoover.
The Columbia Humane Society needs a mobile spay and neuter van that will travel around in Columbia providing affordable pet services.
There is a spay and neuter clinic inside the Humane Society where veterinarians treat animals.
Clinic worker Erin Smith says they want to make it more convenient for pet owners. "There are a lot of people that don't have access to the services that we provide and so we're going to take those services to them." said Smith. One big problem the Humane Society faces in Columbia is an overpopulation of stray cats.
"People don't know how quick animals can explode... two un-spayed and neutered cats over a course of a seven-year period can turn into over 900 thousand cats between their kittens and their kittens kittens." said Smith.
The Humane Society's pitch to stop overpopulation won over the students.
"I think everyone can attest to the over population of cats that's in Columbia and that was one of their main goals." said junior HRTM major Courtney Gmerek.
The class has no budget and each student is in charge of finding sponsors and donors to contribute to the event.
"We were just thrown right into it you know, we didn't have too much time to think about it." said Gmerek.
The students estimate they've brought in about half the money they need. Professor Hoover says the class will continue to accept donations for the mobile vet throughout the rest of the year.