Nama-sit and namastay: Puppy paws hit the mats on Friday for some Puppy Yoga and it’s all for a good cause.

For $35, you can do your best downward dog while raising money for a local rescue. 

It all started when Manchester realtor Mary Mercer fostered a rescue pup this spring. 

“I started fostering with Pack Leader Rescue this spring and I kept thinking, what are some great ways that we can use some out of the box thinking to raise more funds and awareness and save more dogs,” Mercer said.

The money raised does a lot of good. “With this yoga and the donations we save seven more animals in one hour so it’s pretty amazing,” said Tori Cateni, co-founder of Pack Leaders Rescue. Her organization has been making weekly trips down south to help clear shelters in wake of the flooding. 

Puppy Yoga is more than a way to raise money for a local rescue; these dogs are also up for adoption this weekend.

“The dogs just came off the transport from the south this morning and saw the vet and now get some playtime with some people,” Mercer said, adding that they’re aiming to hold Puppy Yoga once a month while the weather is nice.

During the session, you’re led through an hour of yoga — but don’t expect to do too much yoga. As the pups run around, you’re encouraged to pet and play with them (while they may or may not be nibbling on your mat). 

“I think the people get a lot out of it because it’s very therapeutic to play with dogs and the rescue gets a lot of exposure,” Mercer said.

Pack Leaders Rescue is holding adoption events this Friday and Saturday at Petsmart in Manchester, and next Friday and Saturday at Petsmart in East Hartford. Visit for more information on upcoming puppy yoga sessions and adoption events. 


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