You’ll see dogs aplenty at this weekend’s Walk for the Animals event.
But you might catch glimpses of other pets, too, like cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, goats and even a parrot.
The family-friendly event on Sunday, which has been around for more than 20 years, is a fundraiser for the Nebraska Humane Society. All events start in the meadow near the shelter, near 90th and Fort Streets.
Organizers hope to raise $310,000 from the event, which includes a 1-mile walk and 5K, said Pam Wiese, spokeswoman for the Humane Society. Proceeds, which go to the shelter’s operating costs, come from registration, sponsorships and fundraising.
“It comes full circle,” Wiese said. “While people are enriching their pets’ lives, they’re helping animals who don’t have families at this time.”
All year, Hope Wicken and a group of fellow animal lovers — dubbed the Yappy Pack — have been raising money for the walk.
The Yappy Pack got its start about 12 years ago as a dog playgroup. The first year, members held dog washes to raise money for the walk. Now the group raises money by selling homemade dog treats — about 900,000 a year — as well as dog bandannas, cat nip toys and tug toys. The group still hosts playgroups and organizes “Pups on the Patio” fundraiser events.
The group hopes to raise more than $30,000, Wicken said. Additional individual fundraising should put them closer to the $40,000 mark.
“Everything we do is for the Walk for the Animals,” Wicken said.
Wicken is owner to shelter alum Luke. She got the Labrador retriever mix about two years ago. They plan on being at Sunday’s walk.
“It’s a passion for me. I have really strong feelings for the Humane Society and what they do,” Wicken said.
People and pets can choose from a 1-mile walk or a 5K. Older pups or pups with short legs can opt for a shorter “Dachshund Dash.” If walking or running isn’t your style, the event features vendors, a beer garden, an adoption parade and other pet-friendly activities.
Cost is $37 for the 1-mile walk and $45 for the 5K. To take part in just the festivities, it’s $10.
“People love their pets and are always looking for something to do with their animals,” Wiese said. “This is geared toward pets.”
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