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Pet-Lovers Support Furry Friends During Walk/Run for the Animals

Photos by Midori Davis/The Indy

Furry friends and their owners crowded downtown Vancouver sidewalks on Saturday for the Human Society of Southwest Washington’s annual fundraiser called Walk/Run for the Animals

This year, The Humane Society for Southwest Washington celebrated the 30th anniversary of Walk/Run for the Animals. Donations and participation in the event were important due to coronavirus-related closures that have challenged the non-profit. The Humane Society’s mission is to “rescue, return, restore, rehome, and reconnect” animals according to their website

Participants who raised enough funds were awarded prizes. For registering, individuals received a free goodie bag. Thirty dollars earned them a face mask while $100 won them a zip-up hoodie. All participants could visit seven pit-stops along the route to pick up goodies from partners and sponsors. 

At the corner of Main Street and 8th Street, staff at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists worked a booth outside of Main Event Sports Grill. They handed out flyers and chatted with participants and their pets. 

Suzi McDonnell, manager of clinical operations at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists, said that the Human Society for Southwest Washington does a great job of cultivating relationships with the pet community. She has two pets from this humane society. 

“For pet owners that are in need, The Humane Society for Southwest Washington does a great job of reaching out and helping to support them through either their food bank or educational resources,” McDonnell said. “It’s a really worthy cause.” 

She said that Columbia River Veterinary Specialists has partnered with Walk/Run for the Animals for at least five years.

When injured animals arrive at The Humane Society for Southwest Washington, staff try to fix the animals and find them a home, unlike other humane societies who euthanize them.

Heather Poncelow, veterinarian at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists, said that she values this humane society because it gives animals a chance. Her co-worker Lynda Nielsen echoed her thoughts and encouraged pet owners to get involved in future Walk/Run for the Animals events.

At the booth, Jason Hudson held his rescue dog Zoe while talking to McDonnell, Poncelow and Nielsen. Hudson was a walking participant and has participated in Walk/Run for the Animals for six years.

“The Humane Society for Southwest Washington is something that my family is very passionate about,” Hudson said. “We believe in the cause and helping animals.”

Further down 8th Street, Jaime Ross worked a booth for A Dog’s Best Friend Doggy Daycare outside of WellHaven Pet Health. She is the general manager of the doggy daycare. Ross said that her business has been part of the event for eight years. 

“We specialize in dogs that need extra help and that’s what the Humane Society for Southwest Washington does too,” Ross said. “We are happy to partner with them every year to show our support.”

As of May 3, The Humane Society for Southwest Washington had raised $126,000 which exceeded their $125,000 goal. 

If you’re a pet-lover, be sure to participate in next year’s Walk/Run for the Animals to support The Humane Society for Southwest Washington and their sponsors. 

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