What's more fun than a schoolyard full of dogs ready to go for a walk?
Nothing! That's why the Lawrence Humane Society would like you and your best friends to join us at 8 a.m. May 13, for our 11th Annual Mutt 'n' Strutt at Sunflower School, 2621 Inverness. It may be the most fun you'll ever have!
The Mutt 'n' Strutt is one of the humane society's two big fundraising events that bring in assistance necessary to keep the animal shelter going.
The instructions are simple: Pick up a pledge form at any local veterinary office or pet service or supply store. Fill out a form for each dog you bring (up to two dogs per participant), then start asking all of your human friends to support your efforts to help the Lawrence Humane Society and gather their financial pledges (a minimum pledge of $25 is required per dog, or $30 after May 7). Then mail your pledge money and form to the shelter, or bring it with you between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. May 13, during registration and packet pick-up, and get ready to have a frolicking, panting, tongue-lolling good time!
We only have a few requirements in place for the safety of everyone involved.
All dogs must be current on their rabies vaccinations on the day of the event. Human entrants under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and everyone must sign the waiver on the form. Dogs have to be leashed and under control at all times, so they can remember to act like little ladies and gentlemen. Please only bring dogs that are healthy and sociable, and if your female is in any stage of heat, she needs to be left at home. Finally, although we love all our feline and other animal humane society alumni and friends, this is a canine event. Feel free, however, to bring a picture of your pet, wear it proudly and walk with us.
We have a wonderful list of generous sponsors who have helped us prepare gifts for everyone who participates (so be sure to support their businesses). Participants who provide minimum pledges will receive a T-shirt and surprise grab bag. Those who bring in $50 to $74 can add a humane society hat to the award package, and anyone who secures $75 or more receives a brand new Lawrence Humane Society insulated coffee mug as well.
Hats and coffee mugs will be available for sale if you just want to come and browse, and those mugs will come in handy if you arrive between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. We'll be selling cinnamon rolls and coffee to get your morning started and to give you the energy you'll need to check out all our vendors and information booths. Between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. you'll see pet products aplenty, along with gift items and animal art in case you forgot to pick up that Mother's Day present.
The main event, of course, is the walk itself. Following a blessing of the animals, we'll begin at 9 a.m. on a preset course that will be lined with jugs of water and bowls for our best friends, so they don't overheat. We'll also have bottles of water for the human walkers to take along, and we'll be selling cans of soda if that suits you better.
At the end of the walk, we have more good times planned: games and prizes, face painting, a giant bake sale and contests to decide the best animal tricks, most unique mutt, hairiest dog or which owner-pet duo looks most alike. Winners will receive a prize, and we'll give away door prizes throughout the event. Major gifts include KU football and basketball tickets, dog food for a year, a TV/VCR combo, Southwind Theatre movie passes, Worlds of Fun tickets and more.
Plan on being hungry, too. On the menu between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.: hotdogs, chili dogs, chili pie, chips and pop.
And how will this event assist the Lawrence Humane Society? Rest assured that every little bit helps the furry or feathered kids in our care. Any amount you can offer does something. Pennies go into a jar for our spay/neuter fund. Dollars or fives can buy toys or treats for the puppies and kittens who need to keep busy. A $10 donation feeds the kittens in our nursery for one day, vaccinates and de-worms one animal or provides one animal with a heartworm test.
The registration fee - $25 - feeds 10 puppies for one day, covers costs of a cruelty investigation for one day or helps us educate the community about animal issues by supplying one grade school classroom with issues of Kind News.
Can you offer $50? That amount will spay or neuter one cat, pay for one pet-adopt advertisement in the newspaper or provide an X-ray for one injured animal brought to us for care. And $100: That's what it costs us to run one special event fundraising advertisement, feed all our cats for one day or feed 75 dogs for one day.
It all adds up, but it's much more fun to raise these funds as a community. Please join us on May 13. For more information, call 843-6835.
- Sue Novak is president of the Lawrence Humane Society board.