Dog Walks for Charity 2012

charity_dog_walksNo matter the weather, your furry friend will always perk up when she hears the word “walk.”

Whether you live in the city or in the suburbs, going on a long walk with your dog is emotionally and physically beneficial for both. With these fundraising dog run/walks, you can keep your new year’s resolution to stay fit while making a difference. Usually no longer than 5K, these family friendly, fun events get you outdoors and in the company of like-minded animal lovers walking for charity.

Below is a list of upcoming run/walks benefiting animals around the country:

1) See Spot Run, February 18 Wolf Pen Creek Park, College Station, Texas

“4 legs are faster than 2” is the motto for this year’s See Spot Run 3K/5K Fun Run by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The goal is to get animal lovers, exercise enthusiasts, students and families together for the physical and emotional well-being of both pets and their owners. Awards will be given to the top male and female runners in the 5K race, top three dogs in the 3K race and the top dog for both races combined.

2) Humane Society of Miami Walk for the Animals, February 18 Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida

The Humane Society of Miami/Adopt-A-Pet’s 12th Annual Walk for the Animals will take place in scenic Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. The proceeds help the 2,500 animals that make their temporary home at the Humane Society each year. NBC6 meteorologist, Ryan Phillips, will emcee the event. The one-mile stroll around the park can be done with or without a dog. Those interested can join teams to raise funds. This year’s goal is $60,000.

3) Humane Society of Broward County, March 3 Huizenga Plaza, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Humane Society of Broward County’s 22nd Annual Walk for the Animals will be a 1.25 mile walk intended to bring people together to raise money for animals in need. Participants have a chance to earn treats such as t-shirts, doggie bandanas and VCA Animal Hospital gift certificates depending on the money raised. Purina’s Incredible Dog Team will be performing dock diving, freestyle flying disc, agility competitions and weave pole racing. There will also be massages for you and your four legged friends.

4) Mighty Texas Dog Walk, April 7 Auditorium Shores, Austin, Texas

The Mighty Texas Dog Walk is worthy of its name. It has won the “World’s Largest Dog Walk” Guinness World Record twice already. The 14th Annual Texas Dog Walk sponsored by the Hearing and Service Dogs non-profit is hoping to bring the Record back to Texas. The current record is held by UK, which had 18,113 dogs participate in the Great North Dog Walk last year. The Texas walk is three miles around Auditorium Shores. Mauro Garza’s collector’s t-shirts, dog goodies from exhibitors, and a medal for every dog at the Finish line are just some of the perks of this walk that beats all walks.

5) SPCA of Wake County K9- 3K Dog Walk, April 21 Moore Square, Raleigh, North Carolina

For the past 12 years, the SPCA of Wake County has been raising money for saving pets. On its 13th year, the city of Raleigh will close its downtown streets to make way for the largest march of dogs in the city’s history. Participants can join teams to raise money, and can even get their business involved by setting up a company team.

6) SPCA of Texas’ Strut Your Mutt, April 28 Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

Bring your tail wagging mutts for a 3K walk, run, or stroll through Fair Park for this fun charity event. The money raised will go towards rescue and care for abused pets, providing low-cost clinic services, and finding homes for the animals. Food, music, kids’ activities and plenty of booths with information will be available.

7) WCS Run for the Wild, April 28 Bronx Zoo, New York

Take a walk on the wild side at the Bronx Zoo to raise funds for African lions on Wildlife Conservation Society’s 4th Annual 5K Run for the Wild. No dogs are allowed in the zoo, but feel free to bring your family for a fun day at the zoo filled with live music, food, and educational shows. Make sure to visit the lions and the rest of the animals that call the zoo home.

Safety Tips:

  • Practice over the four-week period leading up to the event so that both you and your dog are properly trained.
  • Practice jogs on trails or other locations where people run with their dogs to acclimate your dog to running in a pack with distractions.
  • Stay hydrated with water at start/finish and every 1/4 mile. Watch for signs of overheating. Watering holes are available at each race.
  • Make sure to stop when the dog is lagging behind. Pay close attention to the energy and stress levels of your companion. Dragging is never allowed.
  • Have proof of rabies vaccination handy.
  • Dogs must be on leashes at all times. Retractable leashes are hazardous in a crowd.
  • Inspect your dog’s pads for any signs of cuts and wear. Veterinarians are available at each event.
  • Don’t forget to have fun!

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