JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Whether it’s on four legs or two, it’s time to walk to support the Chautauqua County Humane Society.
The annual Walk 4 Paws is gearing up for this weekend’s event, complete with a great way to exercise, lots of furry friends, and a complementary pet bandana.
“It’s coming up this Saturday, September 16th at Panzarella Island Park in Jamestown. The registration time starts at 10, the actual walk starts at 11, and we have a lot of fun things for people to do while they’re there,” said director of communications Brian Papalia.
The Walk 4 Paws is very important to the humane society, and the animals that reside there.
“The sign ups have been a little bit low, this is the first time we’ve done the actual walk in like three years. We did a couple kind of walks at the mall during the pandemic. Last year we had a situation that made it so we couldn’t do the walk, so this year we’re back and we have a new presentation, we’re really excited. Everything we’re doing ties into what we’re doing at the shelter, one of the activity tents is pet painting, that’s where your dog can make a painting. It’s really cool, it’s safe and it’s cool. That’s something we do for enrichment here at the shelter,” Papalia said.
There are so many fun enrichment activities for participants to enjoy.
“There’s a scavenger hunt, one of the things we do for enrichment is we hide things around and people find them, we have photo booths, we have two professional photographers, Heather Johnston and Jet Papalia, they’re going to be doing photos and you can get digital copies of those. Of course an important part of what we do here is photos of the animals to get them homes,” Papalia said. “We have a lady coming down to do nose work demonstrations for dogs which is really cool, it’ll teach people about how they can enrich their dogs that way and again that ties into what we do here at the shelter. Then, there’s the walk down the Riverwalk, which we’re really excited about.”
Getting to the walk can be a little confusing, so Papalia explains how to find the walk.
“We’re starting at Panzarella Island Park, which nobody knows where that is, it’s right behind the BPU. If you go to the East end of the BPU parking lot towards the bridge, you’ll see the pedestrian bridge that goes across to the park so you can go there and there will be registration tables, if you want to register at this point or if you want to just come down and have some fun, come down, just have fun and take your dog for a walk. I will say, make sure your dog does well in those conditions,” said Papalia.
The Walk 4 Paws is so important because it is one of the biggest fundraising opportunities the shelter has.
“I think it’s important to register, it’s a $25 fee, you get a free dog bandana which have all been donated by a volunteer of ours, she makes really cool cat and dog apparel, then you get to do each of the activities, and all that money comes back to the shelter to help the animals, we need it. They need lights, they need heat, they need all that stuff, so that’s what covers it,” explains Papalia. “It’s community supported, grant supported, we don’t get anything from local government or anything like that at all.”
On top of heating and lights, the shelter goes through an impressive amount of kitty litter every year.
“We go through 24,000 pounds of litter a year, yeah, that’s one of my favorite statistics. That’s something, 24,000 pounds, you know how much litter is and it comes in and it goes out. You’re paying for litter, you’re paying for food, that’s what you’re supporting. Behavior and medical, all sorts of stuff. We do not make any money off adoptions, we actually put more into the animal than the adoption fees,” Papalia said.
For anyone looking to get involved, there are many ways to do so.
“If they want to come down to the walk and just hang out and help out, learn more about what we do and get involved, maybe sign up to volunteer because that’s something we’re always looking for. If you find out you want to do your own fundraiser or even talk about some of the services we offer. If you know somebody who has trouble with having a ton of cats, who doesn’t have that trouble in their neighborhood, they can tell people about our spay and neuter program. There’s different ways to get involved,” said Papalia.
In the end, staff at the humane society are looking forward to the walk.
“I just want to invite people to come on down to the walk and help us make it the best walk we’ve ever had,” Papalia said.