Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Humane Society 

Team and individual registrations are now open for the 14th annual Walk 4 Paws, presented by Happy Hounds Hotel.  This is the Chautauqua County Humane Society’s largest fundraiser of the year. The event combines a family friendly 1.5-mile walk through Chautauqua Institution with charitable giving to help provide care for all the animals awaiting adoption at the shelter.

The annual Walk 4 Paws event takes place on Saturday, October 20 at the Market Gate of Chautauqua Institution. Check-in begins at 9 a.m., with the official walk starting at 10:30 a.m. Again this year, at 10 a.m., CCHS will feature a runway for pets and their owners to show off their finest costumes and/or tricks. This is where the costume contest judging will take place. Also, Luke Fodor of St. Luke’s Church will conduct a blessing of the animals prior to the launch of the walk. Awards and complimentary refreshments will follow at the conclusion of the walk.

“This is one of our most exciting and largest events all year,” said Kellie Roberts, Executive Director for CCHS. “It’s a fun and relaxing event that allows our participants to tour Chautauqua with their pets and support a great cause in the process,” said Roberts. 

Unlike most charity walks or 5K events, community members walk alongside their favorite pets and get personal sponsors to help raise money for the shelter. As individual walkers’ fundraising totals go up, they have the opportunity to earn bigger incentive prizes. The first incentive level gets a commemorative Walk 4 Paws t-shirt and higher incentive levels can earn bicycles, jewelry, electronics and more. 

Walkers can also form teams for the event. Interested Team Leaders are encouraged to recruit more people to join their team. The top three teams with the highest combined fundraising total are awarded trophies as well as the top three individuals. Local businesses are encouraged to create teams of walkers for promotional opportunities.

“We are a non-profit organization that receives no funding from the government at any level. Our special events are significant to the shelter and we are very thankful for the community support that we receive each year,” said Roberts. 

Dogs aren’t the only animals that can participate in the walk. Over the years, cats, ferrets and even a horse have participated in the event. The event is meant to raise awareness and funds for all animals that enter the humane society facilities.

Happy Hounds Hotel is the presenting sponsors of this year’s walk. The Shults Auto Group, Chautauqua Chemicals Company, and Labella, and a number of other area businesses are supporting the walk.   Media sponsors include the Media One Group radio stations (SE-93, WJTN,WHUG,WKSN,WQFX). 

The walk features quick online registration and online fundraising tools for teams and individuals at www.spcapets.com. For those interested in fundraising on hard copy materials, registration forms and collection envelopes are available for pick up at the shelter. For more information or to have materials mailed to your home, call 716-665-2209 ext. 213.

The mission of the Chautauqua County Humane Society is to improve and save lives through compassionate care, advocacy for animals, and commitment to the community.