PARKERSBURG - Hundreds of animals and their humans turned out Saturday at City Park for the 15th annual Walk Your Paws sponsored by the Humane Society of Parkersburg.
Mary Ann Hollis, executive director of the society, said $36,678.21 was raised at the event.
"Most of this money will go for vet care and the program to provide low-cost spaying or neutering program," she said. "Despite the weather and threat of rain we had more participating than last year."
Welsh corgis Cassie and Mater Ann, a mother and daughter pair, were brought to Saturday’s Walk Your Paws event by Allison and Rachel Butcher.
Hollis said next year's Walk Your Paws will take place June 4, 2011, at City Park. She said no theme has been picked, but there are a number of possibilities.
"We've had several others," she said. "As warm as it has been the past two years we might have a beach theme."
While the event attracted its usual assortment of household pets, there was also one unusual participant Saturday at City Park.
Joseph Fondots, of Parkersburg, had an African Serval with him at the event. Servals are medium-sized African wild cats. He said the Serval, which he named Bobo, was 4 months old and he was purchased from a breeder in Nevada.
Fondots also had his Great Dane, Kelso, at the event.
Also at Walk Your Paws, the crowd was given a demonstration by Benji, the K-9 of the Wood County Sheriff's Department. Benji is handled by Deputy Jim Asbury.
Asbury said Benji, a Belgian Malinoist, was trained in Holland and he is given his commands in Dutch.
"I do this for two reasons," he said. "One, he was trained in Dutch and second, when I give him a command no one else knows what the command is until he acts and they can't attempt to call him off."
Asbury said Benji is 8 years old and he has been the handler since Benji was acquired by the department. He said Benji is a passive indicator dog, meaning when he finds drugs he stops and stares at the location where he found the drugs.
Beth Buchman, of Parkersburg, was at Saturday's event with her four Daschunds, Sophie, Reggie, Benny and Joey. Buchman said Sophie was rescued from a local puppy mill and had just given birth to a litter when she was rescued.
April Rockhold had her bulldog, Rocky, on hand at City Park. She got Rocky when he was 7 months old and he celebrated his one-year birthday on May 31.
Rockhold said she decided to bring Rocky after seeing an ad.
"He loves to be around other dogs," she said. "He thinks they are here to play with him."