Walk Your Paws

PARKERSBURG – City Park went to the dogs in a good way Saturday for the 21st annual Walk Your Paws fundraiser for the Humane Society of Parkersburg.

Michelle Earl, executive director of the HSOP, said about 200 dogs, and their people, turned out for the annual City Park event.

This year she said the society added a vaccine clinic for rabies and parvo-distemper along with fun events like contests for best costume and tail wagging.

“The money from the clinic will go toward the total fundraising for today,” she said. “We did a donation drive today also.”

Earl said Walk Your Paws and the Tail Gate Party in the fall are the two big fundraisers for the society.

“Funds raised here directly helps with the care of our animals and shelter improvements,” she said. “It’s what we need to make their lives better and to improve their health.”

Earl said the society provides vaccines, worm treatment and spays and neuters for each animal they take in. At the current time, the number of animals at the shelter is high and the numbers for cats are higher for early in the spring.

“Our biggest problem is people do not spay and neuter their pets,” she said. “This directly causes the overpopulation issue.”

Kym Holdren, of Parkersburg, said she came to Walk Your Paws on Saturday for two reasons.

“I came because I love dogs and it’s good exercise for them,” she said. “I like to see the other dogs, too. I like seeing what dogs others have, it’s for a good cause.”

Melody Pennington brought her shar pei Bailey out to Walk Your Paws to help socialize the 14-week-old pup.

“I just wanted to support the cause and get her exposed and socialize her,” she said. “We come every year with other dogs we have, we had seven at one time.”

Mary Evans, of Parkersburg, said she enjoys coming to Walk Your Paws.

“I like the event and do whatever I can to help out,” she said.

Last week Evans, who is the owner of the My Way Lounge and of seven chihuahuas, made a large donation to the HSOP and by Saturday had exceeded the goal by $1.

“We reached our goal and ended with $1,001,” she said. “It was something my husband wanted to do last year, but he was diagnosed with cancer in May 2013 and didn’t get a chance to do because he was sick.

“So we did this in honor of him this year.”