Two-legged and four-legged friends are being invited to dash and raise cash this weekend, as part of fundraiser to offset costs for pet owners facing unexpected and insurmountable veterinary expenses.
"It's done a lot of good, so we're pretty excited to be holding it again," said Jim Delker, a veterinarian at Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic in Soldotna, of the fifth annual Dog Jog event being held this Sunday.
The purpose of the annual event is two-fold. First, it allows pets owners and their canine companions to participate in either a one-mile walk or a three-mile run, both of which start and end at the clinic.
Second, through a $20 entry fee for either event and an optional $15 T-shirt price, funds are raised (and put into the Angel Fund) to help support pets that are injured or become ill and whose owners are unable cover the cost of their pet's medical expenses.
"Thanks to the Dog Jog and other generous donations to the Angel Fund, we have provided over $10,000 in medical aid to pets in need," Delker said.
Recipients of these funds are carefully considered based on need. Typically, year-round responsible pet owners facing an emergency situation are most likely to receive the financial aid priority.
"It's used for people that are trying to the best for their pet, but due to some unforeseen circumstance or unplanned financial situation, they are struggling or can't afford veterinary care. The Angle Fund will kick in and help them out while their down on their luck, and hopefully they will make a donation back to the fund when they get back on their feet," he said.
Also, Delker said recipients typically receive only a portion of their entire veterinary bill, rather than the fund being used to cover the whole cost. This is done to maximize the overall number of pets that can be helped.
"Disbursement is between $100 and $400 on average, so it goes quite a ways," he said.
To participate in the Dog Jog, pets must be current on their rabies and distemper vaccinations.
"All pets are required to be on a leash throughout the entire day for everyone's safety," Delker said.
For their 20 entry fee, participants in the Dog Jog will receive a bandana for their pet and a free lunch following the event. Water bowls will also be strategically placed on the walk/run course, and made available at the picnic to ensure no pets dehydrate or overheat.
Prizes will be awarded to top finishers for the run in the men's and woman's divisions. Costumes are encouraged for humans and dogs alike, and prizes will be awarded in this division as well.
Registration for the event takes place at 1:30 p.m. with walk/run events starting at 2 p.m. For more information, call Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic at 907-262-4581.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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