Eleventh Annual Walk 4 Paws

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Photo Courtesy of Cathy Panebianco - Panebianco Photography
Photo Courtesy of Cathy Panebianco – Panebianco Photography

Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Humane Society

Team and individual registrations are now open for the 11th annual Walk 4 Paws, presented by the Petco Foundation. This is the Chautauqua County Humane Society’s largest fundraiser of the year. The event combines a family friendly 2-mile walk through Chautauqua Institution with charitable giving to help provide care for all the animals awaiting adoption at the shelter.
Walk 4 Paws takes place on October 3 at the Chautauqua Institution Market Gate area. Check-in begins at 9 a.m., with the official walk starting at 10:30 a.m. New this year, at 10 a.m., CCHS will feature a red carpet 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. Awards and complimentary refreshments will follow at the conclusion of the walk.
“This is one of our most exciting events all year,” said Jeff Lubi, Executive Director for CCHS. “It’s a fun and relaxing event that allows our participants to get their pets involved and help a good cause in the process,” said Lubi.
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 Keurig coffee makers, bicycles, jewelry, electronic devices and more. Awards will also be given to the best pet costumes voted on by select judges.
Walkers can also form teams for the event. Interested Team Leaders are encouraged to recruit more people to join their team. The team with the highest combined fundraising total is awarded with a trophy and bragging rights for the year. In 2014, the Flarfy’s Family team collected $1,955 for the shelter and won the team competition. Ellie Hartnagel won the individual fundraising award by collecting $1,112. 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 Lubi.
Dogs aren’t the only animals that 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.
The Petco Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the event followed by Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union and Chautauqua Metal Finishing Supply, Shults Ford Lincoln Hyundai Kia. Media sponsors include The Post-Journal and Media One Group.
The event now 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 promote the adoption of animals, prevent all forms of animal cruelty and neglect, shelter lost, abandoned and homeless animals, and to provide education about the humane treatment of animals.