Times may be tough, but Ottawa residents – of the two- and four-legged variety – showed how much they love animals Sunday, raising $185,000 for the Ottawa Humane Society.
More than 1,500 participants at the 21st annual Wiggle Waggle Walkathon brought in $30,000 more than they did last year, making the event the “largest and most successful walkathon ever,” said OHS executive director Bruce Roney.
“In addition to being a fun day, it’s also our most important fundraiser of the year and we count on its success to help us care for Ottawa’s animals,” he said.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to come out and support our work and see all the different kinds of dogs,” said OHS spokeswoman Tara Jackson. “We even see people who don’t have dogs or who have cats.”
Canine participants ranged from show dogs to shelter alumni and volunteers – including honorary chairman police Chief Vern White – walked dogs that are available for adoption through the shelter in hopes the attendees fall in love with animals like Kika, a female husky; Alfie, a rottweiler and Rory, a pointer mix.
While Cissy Wong walked her Chihuahua, Dan-Dan, Mike and Leah Tackman brought their three-and-a-half-year-old Great Dane, Hanna, to “support the cause and to check out some of the booths,” Leah Tackman said.
While Hanna “always gets a lot of attention,” for her size, a group of miniature dachshunds from the Wiener Super Dog Team also drew some attention.
“This is a great event for everyone,” said Shirley Stapley, who was accompanied by her dog, Holly.
Ottawa resident Carol Turner, brought her three dogs – street rescues from when she lived in Trinidad – to the walk yesterday.
“It’s a good cause, a good walk and it's nice to have the dogs socialize,” said Turner, who has been rescuing animals since she was a child.
The money raised yesterday goes to all the shelter’s programs, including adoptions, resources for abused and neglected animals, community and education programs and the Brightening Lives program, which brings animals into long-term care facilities.