Spokane, Washington – The Spokane Humane Society spokanehumanesociety.org is one of the oldest animal shelter organizations in the Inland Northwest. The sprawling campus just north of Hillyard is usually full of dozens of dogs and cats ready for adoption, yet on July 24 it’s going to be even busier:
The 18th Annual Parade of Paws takes place that day and about 500 walkers are expected – many with their own dogs.
“This is something free and fun that we do for the community,” said Gail Golden, Director of Marketing and Development at the Spokane Humane Society. “We want people to come and see our grounds, visit the big red barn and just have a fun time.”
Golden said the walk is a little later in the summer than usual, because COVID restrictions made earlier scheduling difficult.
“We didn’t have a walk last year, so this is a year of rebuilding and getting the word back out,” Golden said.
For people who would like to raise money, Parade of Paws is a pledge walk. Golden said walkers can register themselves or a team online then solicit pledges before the walk. The top pledge earners win special prizes.
“If you do raise $100 you get a commemorative t-shirt and if you raise $50, you get a sports backpack full of fun stuff and swag,” Golden said. “But you can totally just come and walk for free.”
For those not ready to be among lots of people and dogs, the registration page has a “virtual walker” option which will let you walk at home but still raise pledges.
Walkers pick an easy, non-timed 2- or 4-mile walk. The longer walk goes up to neighboring Mount St. Michael which offers a blessing of your pet.
“All pets are welcome but this is a dog-centric event,” Golden said. Previous Parade of Paws included large parrots, miniature horses and ferrets – smaller animals should of course be carried.
Both walk distances start on campus at 10 a.m. There are water stations along the route.
As walkers return to campus, Golden said there will be live music by the Angela Marie Project, a beer garden hosted by Bark, A Rescue Pub and ice cream by Ben & Jerry’s plus other food trucks and vendors.
“We are also setting up a kid’s fun zone, so there’s something to do for everyone,” Golden added.
The veterinary clinic will offer vaccinations and microchipping during the walk, but appointments must be made online in advance of Parade of Paws.
“Parade of Paws is always a super fun event,” Golden said. “We look forward to hosting our community and show people what it is we do.”