DEARBORN, Michigan – Spring is in the air, and thousands of pet enthusiasts in Southeast Michigan are gearing up for the Dearborn Animal Shelter’s Mutt Strut & Pet Expo — a pledge-driven dog walk and community-wide animal celebration day. Now in year nine, the event organizers promise a day of entertainment, shopping, food, and fun, all while raising funds for adoptable animals in the care of the Shelter. The event takes place on Saturday, May 10, at Ford Field Park, in Dearborn.
Largest gathering of pet fans to benefit homeless animals
According to Elaine Greene, Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter Executive Director, “Mutt Strut is a great way to bring the community together while benefiting our homeless animals. It’s fun to see Ford Field Park become a dog park for a day, and we love providing new and fresh activities for families to enjoy.” For example, new in 2014 is a Paws-itive Energy Zone featuring pet and people psychic readings. Sponsored by Dearborn Family Pet Care, Mutt Strut is a leisurely walk for all skill levels. The route runs adjacent to Michigan Avenue, and provides businesses a chance to showcase themselves to new visitors to the city. The expo portion features an array of free and low-cost, fun activities, including:
- The metro Detroit Food Trucks offering delicious local cuisine
- Fastest Mutt in the Midwest K9 Fun Run contest
- Yelp.com VIP Hound Lounge for walkers raising $300 or more
- Celebration Tent with an adopted dog birthday paw-ty and a chance to meet new adoptable pets
- Former Detroit Tiger Milt Wilcox and his Ultimate Air Dogs in dock-diving competition
- Luring-style race for family pets to unleash their energy
- Doggie Fun Zone offering games and contests
- Midway of local and eco-friendly vendors with pet-related items
During the first eight years, Mutt Strut supporters have raised over $540,000, benefiting more than 16,500 rescued animals. This year, the fundraising goal is $75,000, and businesses, organizations, and individuals are leading the charge with over $13,000 already raised. In 2014, the Friends encourage pledgers to check with their employers to see if their donations can be doubled. Leading the charge is Severstal Steel North America, which is matching employee pledges up to $3,000. Pledging is made easy with personalized online Web pages that teams and individuals can set up in minutes. Register in advance online to participate in the Mutt Strut & Pet Expo or walk-up registration begins at 9:00 a.m., with ribbon cutting and the walk starting at 11:00 a.m.; activities continue to 3:00 p.m. The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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