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 http://www.tbvet.com/leash.php.
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