Dog owners are invited to bring their dogs for the 1.5 mile walk to help support the needs of the Humane Society. The walk will follow the path along the Wisconsin River. There will be multiple activities following the walk, including a search-and-rescue demonstration, a dog costume contest, a fly ball team demonstration and kids’ games. The event is one of the Humane Society’s largest fundraisers and a primary source of income.
“We are always in need of support from the community,” said Ron Blaha, executive director of the Humane Society. “It’s a very exciting job but at the same time a demanding job that requires all of us to be helping our animals in need. It requires finical support.
The event is sponsored by Team Schierl, which raised $4,500 for the Humane Society during April. During the past several years, Team Schierl has raised almost $25,000 for the Humane Society through various fund raisers.
“It seems like every year we have bigger turnouts so I am hoping this year will stand to be the same,” said Jamie Jones, the office manager.
There is a $30 minimum in pledges per person and covers the walk, lunch and a T-shirt. Blaha said the prizes have been upgraded this year to include an iPod, a Kindle and an iPad. Pledge forms were sent out about three weeks ago, giving people more than a month to collect their pledges.
“We have really upped it this year to encourage people to find pledges for that kind of money,” Blaha said. “We have had incentive prizes in the past but this is a new level and new incentives for people to pledge.”
To win the iPod Shuffle, a person would need to raise $750 and the iPad requires $2,000 in pledges.
“It is an effort that requires time to get these animals that have been strays or surrendered up to date, it takes a lot of time, effort and money to get them adoptable and happy and in a home,” Jones said.
Dogs from the Humane Society will also participate, being walked by volunteers. They will be marked by leashes and vests letting people know they are up for adoption.
“I like seeing dogs that have been adopted from the shelter and then come to the walk,” said Amanda Tucker, the adoption coordinator. “The dog is all happy and to me that is cool. I like that part of it.”
Pet owners can also have their dogs micro chipped on site after the walk for a fee of $30. If the dog is ever lost and brought into the Humane Society they will be able to scan the chip, identity the dog and contact the owner.
The dog trainer from the Humane Society and a few volunteer trainers will give some basic dog training lessons. Dogs and dog owners are welcome to attend and learn a few new tricks.
Lunch from Subway will be provided for those who are registered and will be available for purchase for any who did not register.
The walk will be held rain or shine. Dog owners are required to keep their pets leashed at all times.
Blaha said the funds are coming in at crucial time as they have recently hired a fulltime veterinarian for the first time. Kim Peacock started in the new position this week.