No matter the weather, your dog will more than likely perk up when she hears the word walk. With fundraising runs/walks, you and your best friend can get your exercise while giving back to the community. These fun events are usually no more than 5K (3.1 miles), and they are filled with costume contests, entertainment, food and, of course, plenty of activities for fido.
So gather your four-legged friends and find a charity event near you!
1. Wag n’ Walk, Shoreline Park (Monterey, CA) – May 7, 2016
Your dog’s tail will be wagging with joy on this scenic stroll along Monterey Bay for the SPCA’s annual walk-a-thon. Participants can choose a 2 or 4 mile walk to help end pet homelessness in Monterey County. Each year, the local SPCA assists more than 5,500 animals, including injured wildlife. The event will offer free tips from the SPCA’s pet behavior specialist and contests including the Pet/Person Look-Alike and the Best/Smartest Pet Trick.
2. Strut Your Mutt, the Race to End Animal Cruelty (Trinity Groves, Dallas, TX) – May 14, 2016
Bring your mutts for a 3K walk, run, or jaunt through Trinity Groves at the base of the Margaret Hunt-Hill Bridge for the largest canine fundraiser in North Texas. The funds raised will go to help the SPCA of Texas put a stop to animal cruelty in North Texas. Food, music, kids’ activities, and information booths will be available.
3. Doggie Dash, Waterfront Park (Portland, OR) – May 14, 2016
This year marks Doggie Dash’s 29th annual race. The 1.5 mile “Doggie Dash Classic” goes through Naito Parkway, while the 2.5 mile “Bridge to Bridge” route takes folks over the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges and back to the Waterfront Park. As for contests, the strangest mutt mixes and best dressed dogs will be awarded.
4. Tenafly 5K (Tenafly Middle School, NJ) – June 5, 2016
At this year’s Tenafly 5K, you can run solo, but why? Walk the 5K with your pooch and make a difference for the Tenafly public schools. In addition to contests for Best Hair and Nails and Best Trick for a Biscuit, Tenafly also offers the Best Dog and Human Dance Contest. All participating dogs receive medals.
5. Tails on the Trail, (Milwaukee’s Lakefront, WI) – June 25, 2016
Spend a gorgeous summer day traipsing around a lagoon with your best friend, raising money for the Wisconsin Humane Society. Participate in post run/walk activities, including the Doggie Dash, enlist your dog in an agility course, or make waves in the Doggie Splash Zone. Strut your stuff with your dog on the catwalk to compete for best dressed, most creative costume, and best human/animal look-a-like in the fashion contest.
6. Bark of Life (Nationwide) – Summer 2016
The American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life is a 5K relay style walk for dogs and their owners to raise funds for the fight against cancer. Bark for Life honors the unconditional love and caring qualities of our canine caregivers. Along with music, food, and games, expect to find special dog guest demonstrations by therapy, police and rescue dog groups. Check the website above for a Bark for Life event near you.
7. PAWS Chicago’s Run/Walk: Run for their Lives (Montrose Harbor, Chicago, IL) – July 24, 2016
PAWS 5K dog-friendly walk and run (for humans) is a family friendly event that raises money for creating a no-kill community in Chicago. PAWS Chicago is committed to achieving its goals through awareness and building adoption centers. An agility course, massages, and live entertainment are just a few of the highlights of this significant event.
8. Harbor Hounds, (Midday, WA) – August 27, 2016
Walk your hounds and meet fellow animal lovers on this walk between Skansie Park and Donkey Creek Park in Gig Harbor. Visit the booths and get raffle cards stamped by participating sponsors for a chance to win prizes. And, don’t worry, there’s plenty for your pooch too — from the Best Tricks, Best Kisser, and Best Tail Wagger contests to the fun, musical Sit and Stay contest, your dog is sure to be entertained. Proceeds go to The Prison Pet Partnership, local Gig Harbor charities, and International Projects supported by the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor.
9. Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) Strut Your Mutt (Nationwide) – September & October 2016
Best Friends® Strut Your Mutt is an annual series of fundraising dog walks and festivals around the country that bring together four and two-legged participants to save the lives of homeless pets in your neighborhood. Last year, more than 13,000 people raised $1.7 million. This year, their goal is $3 million, and BFAS is hoping for your support. There are 14 live events in major cities across the nation. Check the website to find a Strut Your Mutt event near you.
10. Bully Walk, (Wilmington, DE) – October 29, 2016
To honor National Pit Bull Awareness Day, Response-a-Bull Rescue is hosting its fourth annual Bully Walk, where pit bull lovers come together to show their community how responsible owners are actually in the majority. Pit bulls are wonderful family dogs and great canine citizens. Bring yours to show your support for these often misunderstood dogs. All dog breeds are welcome.