Paws for a Cause may be more than three months away, but registration has already opened to appease those champing at the bit and maximize fundraising.
“Oh, yes. We find the people anxious to be the first to register are mostly likely to use the whole summer to raise the most money,” said B.C. SPCA fundraising manager Tess Repenning.
The Kelowna Paws for a Cause festival is Sept. 8 in City Park.
You can register to participate, with or without a dog, for $15 until June 30 by using the early-bird discount code HURRY at SPCA.bc.ca.
After June 30 and right up to the morning of the event, registration will cost $20 for adults and $10 for youth (free for youth who don’t need or want a participation bib).
All registered participants are urged to do some fundraising to bring in extra cash for the Kelowna and Vernon branches of the SPCA.
Last year was the first time the Kelowna walk served as a joint fundraiser for the Kelowna and Vernon branches. A total of $40,000 was raised.
The goal this year is $45,000.
“Bring your dog, meet fellow animal lovers in your community, enjoy fun activities and walk together to help animals in need,” said Repenning.
The B.C. SPCA is funded primarily by public donations to carry out a wide-ranging mission to prevent cruelty to animals and promote the welfare of animals through sheltering and adoption of homeless and abused animals, cruelty investigations, emergency rescues and treatment, humane education, farm animal welfare, spay and neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
The Kelowna Paws for a Cause walk, which starts at 10:30 a.m., is only three kilometres to make it accessible for as many people and pets as possible.
The SPCA has built a whole festival around the walk from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to attract as many dogs as possible with their humans.
There are games for people and dogs, kids’ activities, pet-trick demonstrations, vendor tables and a barbecue with vegetarian options.
“The reality is last year we had 215 people register for Kelowna’s Paws for a Cause, but there were probably 500 people there with their dogs,” said Repenning.
“We’re not turning any people or pets away. Of course, dogs are welcome and most people come with a dog, but people are welcome to walk and have fun at the festival with or without a dog.”
Also Sept. 8, there will be Paws for a Cause festivals in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Surrey, Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody), Victoria and the Sunshine Coast.
Last year, a total of $420,000 was raised.