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Animal lovers flock to marina
by Garrett Valenzuela
May 17, 2013 | 2441 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file photo -- The sixth annual Nevada Humane Society Walk for Animals sees hundreds of people flock to the Sparks Marina for a day of fun and fundraising for local homeless pets.
Tribune file photo -- The sixth annual Nevada Humane Society Walk for Animals sees hundreds of people flock to the Sparks Marina for a day of fun and fundraising for local homeless pets.
SPARKS -- Call it a fundraiser. Call it a Sparks Marina event. No matter its distinction, the Nevada Humane Society’s Walk for Animals is just plain fun.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Nevada Humane Society (NHS) descends upon the peninsula of the Sparks Marina inviting animal enthusiasts and their pets to a fundraising two-mile walk and daylong festivities. NHS Communications Manager Kimberly Chandler spoke during a busy Friday about the event’s ability to gather community support in helping adopt homeless pets.

“The main goal for us is because it is a fundraiser, to raise $100,000 for homeless pets,” Chandler said Friday. “That is the overall goal and the reason we have the event. However, in addition to that, we want to make it fun. We want people to have a good time. We want to raise awareness about homeless pets, let people know we are out there and what we do and let them know we are here to help the entire community.”

Chandler said the $100,000 target comes from the NHS paying $240 for each animal entering its shelter on Longley Lane in Reno. She said though that is the basic price for animals coming in, some animals may require medical attention or various treatment boosting the cost.

“That covers the spay or neuter, vaccinations and a microchip,” Chandler said of the $240 paid by NHS. “That doesn’t include, for example, animals that might be sick or injured that require additional care. So this is helping us care for many of the animals that arrive at our shelter, especially during the spring and summer months when we tend to see more animals.”

The Walk for Animals brings in major funds for the NHS through its partnership with various community organizations, businesses and donating activists. Chandler said the NHS will provide plenty of information about adopting local homeless pets, as well as more ways to get involved with the community wide organization.

“When we put on events and fundraisers we try to do so at a minimal cost because we want as much of the funds raised to go toward the care of the animals,” Chandler said. “By the community stepping in and helping out with various donations that makes a big difference. We seek community help when we put on these events so ultimately it is community effort that helps us. Without their generous donations this wouldn’t be possible.”

Chandler said “celebrity guests” will include Sparks Mayor Geno Martini, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and plenty others as well as a slew of informational and interactive booths for families to enjoy.

“We’re expecting over 1,000 walkers, many with their canine companions,” Bonney Brown, Executive Director for NHS, said in a press release. “This event is so important because the funds help homeless pets who arrive at our shelter daily. In 2012, over 9,000 animals received care and shelter at Nevada Humane Society, and we expect to care for just as many this year. You can feel good knowing that your support made a difference, as we had a 94% save rate in 2012, one of the highest in the nation.”

Chandler said having the company of the region’s mayors helps spread awareness and encourages people to “jump on that bandwagon to find out more about us.” She said managing the event as it has evolved over its six-year existence has been challenging, but she said continuing to bring the event back every year allows any new businesses, families or animals enthusiasts to get involved further or for the first time.

“Not only do people expect it year after year but they get really excited about it and start calling us in January asking when the Walk for Animals will be,” she said. “It is a lot of fun because people know that not only is it a place to bring their dog and come out and support us but you can also adopt, donate and get involved.

“We really like to see everybody come out, especially those who bring their dogs. It is such a great sight to see all of these wonderful responsible pet people with their pets, having a good time and everybody is getting along.”

Walk for Animals begins at 9 a.m. and registration for the fun walk continues until 1 p.m. at the Sparks Marina. Chandler said seeing the community members, and their beloved pets, out enjoying the fun walk is her favorite part of the event because of the involvement it brings.

“I think the kickoff when the walk starts and you hear the horn go, everyone is cheering and clapping you see hundreds of people walking under the balloons with their dogs it is such a great feeling,” Chandler said. “Ultimately, they are here for us and they are here for our homeless pets and they know even if they cannot perhaps adopt a pet, they can still donate and help spread the word. It is really cool to see everyone come down in action because we wouldn’t be here without them and their support.”
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