Thousands of pet owners and their four-legged friends are expected to take to the streets from the Golden Valley Humane Society to Theo Wirth Park on May 5 for the 38th annual Animal Humane Society Walk for Animals.
But this isn’t just any walk. The event will benefit all five privately funded Animal Humane Societies in Minnesota (including the Woodbury location at 9785 Hudson Rd.; 651.730.6008 and Golden Valley location at 845 Meadow Ln. N.; 763.522.4325), and all proceeds will go towards the group’s operating costs. The event has staying power since some people have participated in the event for anywhere from five to 20 years. In 2010 alone, the event had 10,000 participants and 5,000 pets show up to participate in the five-mile walk.
According to Carrie Libera, the Humane Society’s Director of PR, the walk has a carnival atmosphere, making for a celebratory environment. Some people don’t even participate in the actual walk and just come for the fun.
The event will feature live music and family-friendly activities throughout the day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Vendors, food and a microchip and nail clinic can be found at the end of the route. Pet contests will also take place on the main stage.
“There are lots of animals, mostly dogs,” Libera says. “But there have been some crazy things in the past too: ferrets, goats, and guinea pigs have all made appearances. You’ll see strollers with cats and lots of people dress up their dogs, so it’s a spectator event.”
Plymouth resident Tessa Hilson is participating in the event for the first time this year, along with her company, PrinSource Capital Companies, LLC. Hilson is an animal lover and “mom” of two cats, Frankie and Fiona. She first discovered the Golden Valley Humane Society when she took an educational tour of the facility, and she was very impressed with what the society does overall, including:
- Community programs, such as therapy animal training
- Microchip and nail clinics
- Obedience classes for pets
- Spaying and neutering programs
- Wildlife rehabilitation and release
- Youth programs and summer camps
- Pet boarding
- Adoption and reuniting lost pets with their owners
Animals have made a huge difference in Hilson’s life, and that’s why she’s participating in this event.
“Animals provide so much to people,” Hilson says. “I’ve suffered with depression on and off throughout my life, and the animals I’ve had have loved me unconditionally. They’re there to support you. You can talk to them, but they never talk back and they do so much for me.”
Hilson’s goal is to raise $600 this year. She’s raised $350 so far, though she feels she’s already reached her goal of telling people more about the Humane Society through her fundraising efforts.
The Humane Society hopes to raise $1 million dollars for their five facilities so they can continue to care for the 25,000-30,000 animals they take in every year. Overall the participants have raised $295,390.14 as of April 18. There’s still a lot of work to do, but it all will benefit the animals in the end.
Those who want to participate in the event can sign-up online until the day of the event. Though fundraising is not required, it’s appreciated and the Humane Society suggests a $25 donation to participate in the event.
Here are examples of what a donation can do
$10,000 supports the operating expenses of our Woodbury location for six days
$5,000 helps fund a cruelty investigation and animal rescue
$2,500 provides medical supplies and medications for 41 spay/neuter surgeries
$1,000 gives housing and care to 67 animals in the shelter for one day
$500 helps three dogs through the Adoption Preparation program which readies shy or fearful dogs for adoption
$100 provides sterilization surgery for two puppies
$50 provides two stray cats with full vaccinations
Any amount Helps the Animal Humane Society respond with kindness for animals in need.