18th annual Strut Your Mutt coming up
NEGAUNEE — The biggest dog party of the year is just around the corner.
The 18th Strut Your Mutt fundraiser walk will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Negaunee. Registration will begin at 10 a.m. with the walk starting at 11 a.m.
Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter volunteer Lynn Andronis said in an email that the event has been held regardless of the weather, from cold pouring rain to a bright late-summer day.
After the walk, families and their dogs will be able to participate in a costume contest and best trick contest, with many vendors to purchase a coffee or morning snack from.
Strut Your Mutt is also an opportunity for people and dogs to reunite with their past “friends” or make new ones.
It’s also the last chance for people to buy tickets for the rescue raffle.
Tickets for the rescue raffle are $5 each with a top prize at $1,000. Winners will be drawn and announced at the event. Andronis said that the money raised will go directly to the care of animals at UPAWS.
“We take care of all our community’s homeless animals,” she said. “UPAWS has served this community since 1975, and last year we took in 1,279 animals and were able to adopt, reunite strays with their homes or transfer out 1,219 animals. That’s a ‘save’ rate of 99% of the animals that come through our doors.”
This year, UPAWS is hoping to raise $20,000 from the event. According to event’s webpage, $4,800 has been raised so far.
Since 2006, UPAWS has become an annual event in the area.
“A volunteer began the process of planning for the walk and then some board members and volunteers pitched in to finalize the plan and execute it,” Andronis said. “Huge success that first year, both in popularity and financially, so we made the decision to continue this party every year.”
UPAWS even made the event work through COVID, offering a virtual option as well as an in-person walk.
There will also be a portion of the trail dedicated to the memory of pets who have passed away.
“My two dogs were part of the first Strut Your Mutt in 2006 and for many years thereafter … both are gone at this point,” Andronis said. “The walk brings back tender memories of those ‘stinkers’ and the Pet Memorial Walk is a way to formally acknowledge their presence or any pet who has passed. I would imagine others experienced those same emotions.”
Attendees still have time to register for the event. Those who register before Thursday, will be eligible for a drawing where their dog could be designated as “Leader of the Pack,” which will be the leader of the walk with a special bandana indicating the special role.
“Watching all of the dogs and people start off always chokes me up and brings tears to my eyes,” Andronis said. “They all look like they are having a good time, especially the dogs.”
Strutt Your Mutt will take place at Jackson Mine Park at the Jim Thomas Pavilion.
More information can be found at sym2023.raisely.com.
Dreyma Beronja can be reached at 906-228-2500 ext. 548. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.