Dog owners brought their pets to the on Saturday morning because a 13-year-old Milton resident wanted to bring the community together. It was Pet Tricks Day, an event organized by Thomas Eller and funded by the city's Better Together: Real Communities - Milton Mini-Grants Initiative.
"It was just a good way to have the community come out and have a day with their best buddy, their dog, and just have fun," Thomas said.
His brother, Zack, suggested it was a good idea to get money so dog treats (and even people treats) and prizes could be handed out.
More than 50 people showed up with their dogs, Thomas said.
"It makes me happy because it lets me know this was a success," he said.
Thomas and pet assistance go way back, with his older brother, Zack, leading the way.
"My brother just had this idea that he just wanted to help out the pets at, like an adoption center where we worked at. So everybody who adopted a pet would get these biscuits to go home with their dog," Thomas said. "So it just snowballed from there, and I wanted to help out with him. It was just a really great idea."
He's already planning on having another Pet Tricks Day next year.
He said both brothers were really young when Woof 'Em Down Dog Biscuits got its start. But, "it was easy back then."
Zack, now a senior in high school, started the business when he was 6, but Thomas had to wait a few years until he was old enough to help. Aiding and A-Petting was the organization they helped out directly. It is a non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to assisting Atlanta area shelters by finding homes for every adoptable animal. "That was fun," Thomas said.
His mother, Tracy Eller, said she's very proud of him.
"I always say in spite of myself and my husband, they turned out pretty good. They do a good job.
They have a passion for it, want to help homeless pets and they just kind of stepped up and done it," Tracy Eller said.
Zack did things on a bigger scale, with a huge battery of friends as volunteers. Thomas will keep it going, though it will be dialed back a bit.
"They both said they can't imagine not doing this, not helping homeless pets. It's almost like once you're given that gift of service and helping, you just don't ever get rid of it," their mother said.
"We always told them that not every day was the 'Zack and Thomas Eller Show'," Tracy Eller said. "There's other things that need help, and they both love dogs. So we both thought, let's capitalize on that, and see what we can do to channel their interest in helping homeless pets. So that's kind of how it got started."
Thomas attends this year.