PARKERSBURG - City Park was filled with more than 300 dogs, cats and their humans on Saturday during the 16th annual Walk Your Paws.
The Humane Society of Parkersburg raised around $40,000 through the efforts of coordinators, volunteers and others during the "Bow Wow Luau," said Maryann Hollis, executive director of the HSOP.
"I am thrilled," Hollis exclaimed. "It is a great total."
Dogs available for adoption at the Humane Society of Parkersburg were showcased at the Walk Your Paw
The walk is the biggest fundraiser the organization has each year and Hollis said they were expecting about $30,000.
"Having over $39,500 raised is really wonderful," she said.
The money comes from individuals who participate in the walk as well as corporate sponsors. The funds raised go to support shelter operations and support the society's discount spay and neuter programs.
Pembroke Welsh corgis Cassie, Hallie and Mater Ann were brought to Saturday’s Walk Your Paws event by Allison and Rachel Butcher. Their mother, Lynn Butcher, walked a shelter dog during the event. (Photos by Jolene Craig)
For every $100 raise, a dozen animals get vaccinated; for $250, the shelter can purchase 84 gallons of bleach to keep the facility clean and disease-free; $1,000 will provide food for all dogs in the shelter for two months; and $1,500 will assist the shelter in spaying and neutering 80 animals.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell raised money for the shelter's spay and neuter program by taking buckets of cold water from the Big Splash after people paid $5 for five balls to throw to dunk him.
"It's really cold in the shade," he laughed. "This is for a good cause and I'm happy to do it."
Betty Rector, of Parkersburg, brought her bassett hound Flash, who was rescued from the Roane County Animal Shelter.
"He was in such bad shape they were afraid to bathe him," she said. "After seeing what animal shelters go through and do for the dogs and cats there, I brought him to support the Parkersburg shelter."
Holli Mannix, of Marietta, and her family foster dogs from the shelter as they wait for forever homes. She walked one of their foster dogs in Saturday's event.
"We love dogs and we want to see all of them go to good and deserving homes and by fostering and supporting the shelter, we can do that," Mannix said. "There are far too many unspayed and neutered animals out there and helping is not rocket science."
Since the 2008 puppy mill rescue in Parkersburg, many of the families who adopted the dogs in that situation use the Walk Your Paws event as a way to socialize them.
"We do see some of the mill dogs from time-to-time and some do come to the walk," Hollis said. "I love to see them and hear their stories."
For the first time, vendors for this year's event were not strictly pet related and included Longaberger baskets, Party Lite Gifts and Mother Earth Foods. Like the events in the past, dog and cat related vendors included Gone to the Dogs and Pet Supplies Plus, among others.