Mutt 'n' Strut ( .PDF )
There were Labs and terriers, Chihuahuas and schnauzers, and so many things to sniff.
Saturday's Mutt 'n' Strut charity walk at Sunflower School, 2521 Inverness Drive, drew packs of dogs and their owners, who helped raise about $30,000 for the Lawrence Humane Society.
"Animals need all the help we can give them, especially the ones that end up in shelters," said Lawrence resident Rebecca Hout, who came with her Brittany, Reggie.
Dog owners holding coffee cups and plastic bags set out from the school at 11 a.m. to participate in one- or two-mile walks on 27th Street. Their dogs were on leashes, but more often than not, the dogs were leading the owners, straining to play with other dogs or to interact with people. Prior to the event, participants garnered pledges from area residents, helping the Humane Society reach the $30,000 mark.
Humane Society Director Midge Grinstead said one young Lawrencian was integral in helping the 13-year-old event achieve success.
Twelve-year-old Maggie Brooks raised $1,010 and change by asking hundreds of downtown shoppers to pledge a donation. Her stepmother, Molly Tolly, said Maggie didn't let the cold shoulders of a few people get her down.
"She just kept telling herself she was helping feed the animals," Tolly said. Tolly said Maggie, who could not attend the event, dotes on her Belgian Malinois, Mally, and volunteers at the Humane Society and the Bradley Animal Hospital.
Jonathan and Marilyn Halverson moved to Lawrence in November from the Chicago suburb of St. Charles. The Mutt 'n' Strut was the first time that they brought their English cockers, Tully and Parker, to such an event since moving to Lawrence.
"It's a good cause; we're dog lovers," Jonathan Halverson said. "We believe in the ethical treatment of animals."
Growing up around farm animals, the Halversons said they have an appreciation for the lives of animals.
And Saturday's fundraiser was a true social event for the 300 dogs that came with their owners.
"One thing we really like about Lawrence is it's very dog-friendly," Marilyn Halverson said.
A handful of contests showcased the city's canine population. Prizes were awarded for best animal tricks, owner/pet look-alike, hairiest dog and more.