Press-Republican

May 6, 2013

Annual Pet Walk gathers pet-lovers and community members

KAITLYN AFFUSO Press-Republican
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — The cloudless, sunny sky and mid-70 degree weather brought proud dog owners out to celebrate their passion for their pups Sunday in the Adirondack Humane Society’s Pet Walk at Melissa Penfield Park.

Lil Cassidy of the Adirondack Humane Society said this year’s 19-annual event went just as well as the past ones.

Cassidy said the group usually raises about $10,000 from the Pet Walk each year.

“It’s a great way to get out to share affection for your dog and to raise money for other homeless animals,” she said.

PET WALK

The event started at noon, with the buying of raffle tickets and a sign-up for pet contests. The Pet Walk started at 1 p.m.

Two walks were arranged. There was a short walk, which went around the ball field in the park, and there was the long walk, which was about a mile long, Cassidy said.

Dottie McMillan, of Altona, and her Walker coonhound, Laila, heard about the Pet Walk through Facebook.

McMillan said “the pup, the sun and the kids” brought her to the event.

She said it was her first time participating in the walk and she would try to do it again. She said she really enjoyed the walk and liked how people had set up water dishes and treats for the dogs.

“I could not believe that (community participation),” McMillan said. “It was so cute.”

She said another perk to the event, aside from the perfect weather, was all of the interaction amongst the participants.

“It’s nice to see all of the different breeds,” she said.

April Arora, of Plattsburgh, and her border collie mix, Ziira, were also first-time walkers.

“She (Ziira) had a great time. I had a great time, and we’ll be doing it again next year,” Arora said.

Arora said she enjoyed the walk and enthusiasm from those who lived on the route.

“The community got involved too, so it was kind-hearted people,” she said.

CONTESTS, SPONSORS

The Humane Society arranged five contests for pets to participate in: fastest tail wag, loudest bark, highest jump, best trick and a pet/owner look alike.

Basket raffles and tables were set up around the concession stand in the park. Cassidy made homemade biscuits that the Lumber Jills roller derby team sold. The Adirondack Humane Society had a table with its 50/50 raffle and basket raffle, and the Champlain Valley Search and Rescue K-9 Unit had a table, too.

Kelly Gidman, a member of the search and rescue unit, said her group wanted to have a table at the event in order to make the public more aware of their mission.

Gidman said the unit just opened up registration for their October Dirty Dog Mud Run: a maze-like obstacle run for human participants.

In addition to promoting the run, Gidman said some unit members participated in the walk and in the contests.

“Their (the dogs) favorite part is seeing all the dogs and people,” Gidman said.