May 28, 2014 - For thousands of years, dogs have been man's best friend.
The K-9 Stray Rescue League's Wag, Walk & Run fund-raising event always includes tons of fun things like the peanut butter-licking contest. Note, the contest is only for dogs, not humans. Sorry. File photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
Now, it's man's chance to return the favor by participating in the K-9 Stray Rescue League's Fourth Annual Wag, Walk & Run fund-raiser on Saturday, May 31 at Oxford's Powell Lake Township Park.
"It's just a fun, family day," said Terri Dodge, one of the Rescue League volunteers who helps coordinate the event.
The event will feature a one or two-mile walk along the Polly Ann Trail, which is connected to Powell Lake Township Park's nature trail.
The walking routes form a loop, so participants start and end at the park, which is next to and behind Oxford's library.
This year's event will also feature a 5-kilometer run along the trail as well. "It is not timed. We want to make sure people know that," Dodge said. "We don't want to get any diehard runners there who expect to be timed. It's more of a fun run."
Folks are encouraged to bring their dogs to the event and take them on the trail, but having a canine companion is not required.
The Wag, Walk & Run will also include free refreshments, dog-related demonstrations, contests, a silent auction, prize giveaways, vendors, a pet/human psychic, pet portraits and a demonstration by the Oakland County Sheriff's K-9 Unit.
Registration for the walk opens at 9 a.m. and participants can hit the trail at 10 a.m.
Registration for the run opens at 8:30 a.m. and runners can hit the trail at 9 a.m. To preregister, visit www.dogsaver.org/k9srl
It costs $20 for an individual to participate and $35 for a family. Those who preregister will receive a free t-shirt.
"We're encouraging people to pre-register, but we do take walk-ins," Dodge said.
All proceeds will benefit the K-9 Stray Rescue League, which provides shelter and care to homeless dogs until they can be adopted into loving homes. The group's kennel, located at 2120 Metamora Rd. in Oxford Township, is capable of housing 58 dogs.
"There's so many homeless dogs," Dodge said. "We're taking them in as fast as we can. Every Thursday we bring in dogs. Sometimes twice a week."
She noted a recent adoption event held at the Detroit Zoo resulted in 30 dogs from the K-9 Stray Rescue League finding loving homes. "It's just so heartwarming to see (photos of) them (on Facebook) in a family situation, sitting on the couch," Dodge said.
Money from the Wag, Walk & Run will be used to replenish the group's "depleted medical fund," according to Dodge.
"We've had a lot of heartworm in the kennel this year and there's been a lot of dogs brought in with (other) medical issues," she said. "We've just had a lot of dogs that have had special needs this year."
The medical fund is also used for having dogs spayed or neutered and vaccinated.
Last year's event raised about $5,200 and Dodge is hoping for another great turnout.
"I think there's approximately 150 people coming (this year)," she said. "We have people who come year after year and we welcome new people in the area to join us."
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.