The 33rd annual Walk for Animals will take place Saturday, May 5. Thousands of walkers and their companion animals are expected to turn out to support the newly merged Humane Society and celebrate the human-animal bond.
This is the largest Minnesota animal fundraiser of the year and the nation’s largest pet and animal lovers walk, where walkers raise pledges to support the more than 35,000 animals received each year by the five locations of the newly merged organization. This year, the organization will present two walks—one in Golden Valley, WEST WALK and one in St. Paul, EAST WALK.
“Money raised through the Walk for Animals will help fund our efforts with animal overpopulation, animal cruelty investigations, educational programs and placing thousands of animals in loving homes,” said Janelle Dixon, President and Interim CEO of the newly merged Humane Society. “Animals in our community depend on us and we depend on the community to support our services.”
Another feature new this year is an easy online way for participants to raise pledges by making a personal webpage through the Humane Society’s website.
The Walk features pledge-raiser premiums, a blessing of the animals, musical entertainment, games for dogs, pet-oriented vendors, free refreshments, prize giveaways, and microchip clinics, drawings for trips, free parking and shuttle buses. There is also a Flea-less Market of pet-oriented vendors at the West Walk, and great people and animal watching throughout both locations.
The West Walk begins at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley and is a loop through Theodore Wirth Park. The East Walk takes place in St. Paul’s Como Park.
Fun Facts About the Walk
• The Walk supports the animals cared for by the newly merged Humane Society comprising the largest and the oldest humane groups in Minnesota: the Animal Humane Society founded in 1891 and the Humane Society for Companion Animals founded in 1878 as well as the Greater West Metro Humane Society founded in 1980.
• The majority of the more than 5,000 animals that take part in the Walk are dogs, and there are also cats, parrots, ferrets, rabbits, pot bellied pigs, miniature horses, guinea pigs, rats, hedgehogs, goats and the odd snake or two.
• It takes more than 500 volunteers to organize and produce the Walk for Animals 2007 in its two locations
• It also takes: 9,500 bottles of water, 8,500 hot dogs, 7,600 servings of ice cream novelties and 300 dozen donuts to feed the thousands of walkers.
• One couple—Nils and Janice Anderson of Plymouth—are doing the West Walk for their 30th consecutive year and have set a goal of $30,000. (Media interview can be arranged on request)
• One of the youngest Walkers is Aimee Mihock, 10, of Minneapolis who began walking and raising pledges for animals at age 7. Her goal this year is $2,500 (Media interview can be arranged on request.)
Walk for Animals History
The Walk for Animals (West Walk) began in 1974 with approximately 300 people. The first Walk route was from the Meadow Lane shelter facility to Golden Valley Road and back. In later years, walkers were bussed to Lake Calhoun and walked to the Humane Society past Cedar Lake. In 1989, radio dj’s Bob Berglund and John Hines of WLOL began promoting the Walk and participation grew sharply: in 1990 the Walk raised $154,000—double that of the year before. In 2006, the Walk attracted thousands of pledge raisers who contributed $815,000 for the animals and programs of the Animal Humane Society.
Bark in the Park History
The Humane Society for Companion Animals’ annual Bark in the Park Walk and Run for Animals began in 1986 at Lake Phalen in St. Paul. In 1996, thanks to great growth in the event, it was moved to Como Park. In 2000, the Humane Society for Companion Animals (HSCA) merged with the St. Croix Animal Shelter in Woodbury. That year began the Bark in the Park Walk and Run for Animals event in both St. Paul and Woodbury. On its 20th anniversary in 2006, approximately 1500 registered participants helped raise more than $140,000 for the Humane Society for Companion Animals (HSCA).
In 2007, with the merger of the HSCA, Greater West Metro Humane Society and the Animal Humane Society, the two pledge-raising walks were blended into an East Metro Walk for Animals and a West Metro Walk for Animals to reflect the new range of the humane facilities, which now extend from locations in Buffalo in the west to Woodbury in the east.
Walk for Animals Schedules
845 Meadow Lane North, Golden Valley
Walk through Theodore Wirth Park 9:00 AM Registration Opens 10:30 AM Opening Rally
• Trophies awarded for Random Acts of Kindness poster contest.
• Opening Remarks.
• Blessing of the Animals.
• FOX 9 News Anchors including Jeff Passolt.
• WCCO Radio's Eleanor Mondale 11:00 A.M. Walk Begins 12:30 - 2:00 PM.
• Live music with The Sweet Colleens, prize drawings, stage announcements.
• WCCO-AM and 102.9 Lite-FM on site. 104.1 JACK-FM at the turnaround in Theodore Wirth Park.
Como Park Midway St. Paul
Pavilion, East Picnic Area 1199 Midway Parkway
Walk around Lake Como 8:00 A.M. Registration Opens 9:15 AM Opening Rally
• Blessing of the Animals
• FOX 9's Juli Jay and other Morning News Anchors 9:30 A.M. Walk Begins 10:30 - 12:00
• Fun, games, food, prizes, trophies, and rewards
• Flyball demonstrations
• 104.1 JACK-FM Music Van on site
The Purina Incredible Dog Team with their Flying Frisbees
Available at the West Walk in Golden Valley
Burritos and snacks at the Chipotle Mobile Kitchen. Chipotle is donating all food and labor so 100 percent of money collected goes to the newly merged Humane Society.
Have a photo of you and your pet taken by a professional photographer at the ProEx Portrait Booth. Select your favorite ProEx location to pick up your photos. All proceeds go to the newly merged Humane Society.
Discounted Twins tickets for the Humane Society night at the Metrodome on Tuesday, July 17th vs. Detroit. All proceeds go to the newly merged Humane Society. Discount ticket price.
Available at the East Walk in St. Paul: Discounted Twins tickets for the Humane Society night at the Metrodome on Tuesday, July 17th vs. Detroit. All proceeds go to the newly merged Humane Society. Discount ticket price.
All funds raised through the Walk for Animals support the care of homeless animals and educational, investigative and training programs of the newly merged Humane Society. The following are examples of what varying amounts of pledges will do for the homeless and unwanted animals.
Where does your contribution go?
Buys diagnostic equipment and lighting for the surgical team $5,000
Buys an anesthesia machine for the mobile spay/neuter unit $2,500
Helps a dog or cat in need of a special surgery and recovery care $1,000
Feeds and cares for an injured horse seized from an abusive situation for six weeks $750
Helps fund an investigation of a puppy mill $500
Provides x-rays for two injured animals $250
Pays for a male puppy or kitten to be neutered $100
Pays for vaccinations for two unwanted cats $50
On January 1, 2007, the Animal Humane Society (animalhumanesociety.org), the Humane Society for Companion Animals, and the Greater West Metro Humane Society merged into one organization, dedicated to creating a more humane world for animals by promoting the responsible treatment of animals and by enriching the relationship between animals and people.