Picture your pooch
By Kathy Chaffin
With the second annual Paws in the Park coming up on Sept. 20, Rowan Surge wanted to do something to promote awareness of the fundraiser for Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary and The LandTrust for Central North Carolina.
Jill Wagoner, a member of the Surge leadership team, said the young professionals group decided to sponsor a “Puppy Portrait” fundraiser last Saturday at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. “It was less about raising money and more about getting the word out about Paws in the Park,” she said.
Photographer Steve Norman took photographs of about a dozen dogs during the 8 a.m. to noon event, Wagoner said, donating part of the proceeds toward Paws in the Park.
Last year’s dog walk ó co-sponsored by Rowan Surge and The LandTrust for Central North Carolina ó raised $5,000. Half went to the LandTrust and half to Faithful Friends, a local animal rescue group raising money for a no-kill shelter.
This year, Wagoner said they hope to double that amount.
Almost 100 dog owners showed up for last year’s walk on the Salisbury Greenway, some with a single dog and some with two to four each. “People had such a good time,” she said, “and we had great weather. There were a lot of people I saw at the event that I didn’t even know were animal lovers.
“It’s really neat to watch people come together with a common passion. Animals are near and dear to people’s hearts.”
This year’s Paws in the Park will feature a new attraction ó a Dog Olympics put on by Lazy 5 Ranch Veterinary Services. Events will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will include a Little Doggy Limbo for dogs under 50 pounds, Big Dog Limbo for dogs over 50 pounds, Doggy Musical Sit, a Dog/Owner Lookalike Contest and Silly Pet Tricks.
Only dogs over 4 months of age and current on their vaccines will be allowed to participate. As with the walk, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
Local celebrities will be on hand to judge the events. Medals will be awarded to the top three in each competition when the walk ends at 11:15. Each dog that competes will get a prize bag.
Registration is $5 per dog for the first competition and $1 for each additional competition. Registration will begin at 8 on the morning of the event. Anyone may pre-register by downloading a registration from salisburypawsinthepark.com and mailing a check to: Lazy 5 Ranch Veterinary Services, 3002 S. Main St., Salisbury, N.C. 28145.
All proceeds will go to the newly created Webster Spay/Neuter & Adoption Center, located beside the Lazy 5 clinic.
Registration for the 10 a.m. walk is separate and will also begin at 8. Entry fee is $15, which includes registration and an event T-shirt. The fee is the same regardless of the number of dogs participants bring.
“We have a path on the greenway that’s over a mile,” Wagoner said. Water stations will be available along the way.
Registration will be held at the walk starting point at Knox Middle School at 1625 W. Park Road. To pre-register, download a registration form from salisburypawsinthepark.com and mail the completed forms with a check to The LandTrust for Central NC, P.O. Box 4284, Salisbury, N.C. 28145. Checks should be made out to The LandTrust for Central NC, with “Paws in the Park” written on the memo line.
The registration fee applies to adults only. Children under 18 may walk free, but will have to purchase a T-shirt if they want one.
The Paws in the Park Dog Olympics and walk will be held rain or shine. For more information log onto salisburypawsinthepark.com.