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2012-06-09 at 17:03

Walking the dog

By Jeff Labine,
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here

Pups and pooches of all sizes took a stroll around Boulevard Lake for the 17th annual charity Leash-a-thon.

All manner of dogs participated in this year’s fundraiser in support of local pet charities including the Pet Trust Fund. Participants had the option of going either two kilometres or five kilometres around the lake.

Leah Savela and her eight-year-old mix Kyia have participated at the event for the past four years. Savela said they enjoy going outdoors and the Leash-a-thon gives them that opportunity to take a stroll together.

“I love it,” Savela said. “It gives us a chance to go out and do things with other dogs. The exercise keeps me coming back because I need it. I’m 64 years old. It’s a fun event I’m glad they do it every year.”

Scott Vanteeffelen brought his nine-year-old pug Piper along for the walk. Piper rolled around in her wheelchair with her name printed on the back.

Vanteeffelen said Piper was born with leg Perthes disease, which attacks the bone in the hip. The owner had surgery on her and removed the hip. He said has she got older she had trouble keeping stable so he made her a cart in order to keep up with him and his other two dogs.

“We’re doing the two kilometres but she could probably do the five kilometres but we didn’t want to push her,” Vanteeffelen said. “She’s healthy in every other respect but she just has some problems moving around. The event is a great opportunity to bring dogs out and socialize plus the funds raised go to a good cause.”

Event organizer Jeff Kubinec said around 130 participants signed up for this year’s event and he hoped to raise around $7,000. Over the years, the event has raised about 87,000, which goes toward covering medical costs for pet owners and the local humanitarian organizations, he said.

The event started in honour of Kubinec’s golden retriever who passed away 17 years ago. He said they have been able to continue the event each year because not only does everyone gets a prize at the end but also gives pet owners a chance to get out and socialize.

“I think this is a fun event for people,” Kubinec said. “People like walking their dogs. We often have unusual pets as well such as iguanas, horses one year and bot belly pigs. Not too often we have one or two cats come out. They often get an award for being very brave.”

In order to accommodate all of the pets, he said they have provided kits so dog owners could pick up after themselves.

He added that anyone can learn more by going to


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countrychick says:
I wish there was a fund for those who have costly vet bills and offset the cost of neutering/spading cats and dogs... that would be something really worth while!
6/10/2012 11:22:36 PM
bulldog says:
There is such a group: - Friends of Animals Welfare Network is working on a Spay/Neuter Assistance Program.
6/11/2012 11:00:32 AM
moonpie says:
If the vet hospitals didn't charge an arm and a leg for spay/neuter a lot more homeless animals could be saved. It costs Joe Citizen between $500 and $700 to have an adult dog spayed/neutered when you include the mandatory exam and vaccinations and any extras the clinic tacks on. The price is OUTRAGEOUS!
6/12/2012 6:14:51 PM
Formertbayer says:
$500-$700 to spay a pet in Thunder Bay?? Thats an insane price for spay or neuter. Lower the price, more people have it done and you may actually end up making more money and also help control the unwanted animal population.
6/14/2012 2:25:23 PM
TBVet says:
Last year, money raised was distributed between the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society, PAWS, Kitty Care, Northern Lights Dog Rescue, New Hope Dog Rescue, the City of Thunder Bay Spay/Neuter Fund, the Farley Foundation, and the Pet Trust. Actually less than 10% went to the Pet Trust, leaving the vast majority going to local charities. People can request where they want the funds distributed to on their registration forms. The Farley Foundation does offer financial assistance to eligible seniors and people receiving disability payments when their pets require emergency medical or surgical care. Annually between 30 and 40 homeless pets are spayed or neutered at no charge at a local clinic as a part of a separate fundraising initiative. Contact the Thunder Bay Veterinary Hospital for details regarding the distribution of funds from this year's very successful charity event.
6/11/2012 11:49:47 PM
moonpie says:
The information on the tbvet website lists the Pet Trust Fund as the "primary" recipient of funds from this event, and groups that are not registered charities such as Northern Lights Dog Rescue and Kitty Kare (as of last year) are not eligible as recipients. Maybe tbvet can give a break down of where the $75,335.00 raised from this event (as listed on the website) has been distributed so the public has a better idea where their donations are going?

"Annually between 30 and 40 homeless pets are spayed or neutered at no charge at a local clinic as a part of a separate fundraising initiative."

If the cost for a spay/neuter at tbvet was reduced by half of the $500-700 it costs the average person, a lot more homeless animals could be helped. Makes sense, doesn't it?
6/12/2012 5:58:19 PM
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