Humankind’s best friends will be able to join their owners for a good cause this Saturday as the L&A County branch of the Ontario Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals host their annual Friends for Life Walk.
Registration will be held at the starting point of the walk at 10 a.m. which is Napanee’s Conservation Park. At 11 a.m. walkers and their dogs will head out on a 2 km or 4 km route, which ends back at the park.
Following the walk there will be a petting zoo, bouncy castle, D.J., barbecue, pony rides and vendors on site.
“All the funds raised at the walk support all the things that we do at the animal shelter,” said Esther McCutcheon, branch manager of the L&A OSPCA. “The money that is raised really makes a difference for us.”
Participants are encouraged to collect pledges from friends and family to go towards the cause. The event is the L&A OSPCA’s biggest fundraiser, with a target of raising $15,000 this year.
“It’s a really fun way for people to come and give back to us,” McCutcheon said of the walk. “I set it up as a family event. Even if people don’t have a pet, they’re encouraged to come to the event and they can register to walk as well and raise funds.”
This year’s spokesdog, Ramsay, will be on hand the lead the 2-km walk through town. Ramsay was adopted through the shelter and has been living happily with his family for about a year. A handful of dogs that are currently looking for homes are expected to be in the park on Saturday as well.
“(Ramsay) is a really good example of the good that can come out of adoption and how happy the dogs can be afterwards,” said McCutcheon.
Online registration can also be done through www.friendsforlifewalk.ca, and those who can’t attend Saturday’s event can sign up as a ‘virtual walker’ and give to the cause as well.
The funds raised from the event are important, as the non-profit organization counts on community support to do the work they do.
“It’s been a very busy time of year for us,” said McCutcheon, who says they’ve been steadily adopting dogs since April. “Summer and fall is a very busy time for us. We have lots of cats available for adoption.”