On Sunday, May 20, our 21st Million Paws Walk at Patrick White Lawns will be my fifth and last as the CEO of RSPCA ACT.
I have to admit that I had never been to a Million Paws Walk before taking on the job. I didn’t have a dog at the time and thought it was only for canine owners.
Boy was I wrong!
My first experience of Million Paws Walk was a blur and far larger than I had anticipated. I had attended other local events such as the ‘Canberra Times Fun Run’, and was surprised that just as many people attended Million Paws Walk, only with dogs in tow!
There was every kind of canine you could imagine, and even pigs, ponies, ferrets and more! I couldn’t believe that there were so many animals in one location that were happy to be petted and loved by complete strangers.
But the event was far more than just a walk around a lake. It was a community gathering of like-minded people that loved dogs and supported the work of RSPCA ACT. Together, they happily mingled in the sun while enjoying an array of food vendors, retail stalls, live music and canine activities.
I have to say that one of my favourite things about this event (and for the rest of our staff too) is being able to see so many of the dogs that were adopted from the RSPCA ACT shelter. Too many times they came to us in need, and when we see them at Million Paws Walk we truly get to see those happy endings.
Inspector cases like Lucy or Peggy-Sue fill our hearts with joy when we see them so happy and healthy. We also love to see the adult dogs that were adopted from us as puppies. Sometimes we can’t predict what they would look like once grown, and the new owners have to remind us what their names were when they were at the shelter to help us remember. One year, we even did a reunion of litters so that siblings would see each other again. That was a joy to watch!
As much as people and dogs love this event, we must always remember that this is truly a fundraiser for our shelter. We are reliant on these funds to pay for our day to day operations. As a result, our team starts planning 10 months prior, with things changing all the time that impact costs and registrations.
Regardless, we always do everything that we can to ensure that both the dogs and their humans will have the best dog day ever! The proof is in the photos they send us afterwards as the dogs sleep contently in their back seats on the way home!
Come along and enjoy a fun day out! Purchase your ticket online at www.millionpawswalk.com.au
WHAT: Million Paws Walk 2018
WHERE: Patrick White Lawns (in front of National Library of Australia)
WHEN: Sunday 20th May
TIMES: Doors open 9am; World Record Attempt 10am; Walk 11am
- Tammy Ven Dange is the CEO of RSPCA ACT.