Central Valley residents with hyper and active dogs are in luck this Saturday.
The largest no-kill animal shelter in Fresno, Valley Animal Center, is set to have its 14th annual Wiggle Waggle Walk and Furry 5K Run on Saturday at Fresno State.
Valley Animal Center community relations coordinator Rosie Davenport said the organization has held the event at Fresno State for more than 10 years.
“We are sponsored by the Fresno State Poultry Society Club,” Davenport said. “They are a student group.
“Through their sponsorship, we’re able to hold the event at Fresno State.”
Because of the university’s shade trees, “great grass and good parking,” Davenport said Fresno State is a perfect venue for the run.
“We love to hold it there,” Davenport said. “Our participants prefer having it at Fresno State than other venues like Woodward Park.”
Davenport said the event usually raises more than $25,000 for the shelter’s animals. Around 500 Valley residents attend, and with more preregistrations than usual, she said the event could collect more attendees and donations than past years.
She also said the money raised from the walk goes to the shelter’s area of greatest need.
“It’s not officially allocated to specifically our cats or dogs,” Davenport said. “It could be that we desperately need more bleach for cleaning supplies or new beds for the dogs.
“It’s going to help the entire population of animals that we keep here.”
New additions to the event this year are interactive booths along the walk course, which are run by several Fresno State students in a marketing class.
The walk and 5K courses are also changed.
“There is a dog kissing booth, an obstacle course, a photo booth and a paw-print booth,” Davenport said. “The students are doing that all by themselves for their project.
“They are making the event a lot more interesting this year.”
Fresno State student Kayleigh Bader is part of the marketing group that is working the “pawcasso painting booth.” She said they are volunteering to get experience for their service-learning marketing class.
“Valley Animal Center runs off of volunteer help and a full-time staff,” Bader said. “I think by us sponsoring a booth, it’s helping them with their mission by taking in stray animals and getting awareness out to the Fresno community about the problem with the amount of strays, and to get their animals spayed and neutered.”
Davenport said a few pet-related vendors are attending the event, such as Elaine’s Pet Resort and other dog-sitter vendors.
“We will also have our mobile adoption unit at the event, so we’ll do on-site adoptions as well,” Davenport said.
Raffles to win a doghouse will also be available to purchase at the event, Davenport said.
“It’s hosted by a group called Darden Architects. They are a prominent architect company here,” Davenport said. “They have their people build these really cool and unique dog houses.
“They donate them to us, and we raffle them off.”
Davenport said the Wiggle Waggle Walk is not only a great cause for people to donate to but also a way for dog owners and dogs to interact with other pets and animals.
“I feel there are not a lot of activities in the Valley where you can take your pet out with you when you’re doing something,” Davenport said. “So many people care a lot about their pets but may have to keep them at home.
“It’s nice for people to bring them out in the public and meet other dog lovers too.”
The 5K run begins on Saturday at 8 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m. Registration is $25 for adults, $20 for 55 and over and $14 for 15 and under.
Visit www.valleyanimalcenter.org for more information.