Dogs and their owners will get a chance to stretch their legs June 15 during the inaugural Doggie Walk hosted by the Friends of Jeanette Hunt Animal Shelter.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch. An entry fee of $5 will go to support the Blair animal shelter, and walkers can offer a freewill donation as well for hot dogs, chips, drinks and desserts.
"Brand new event, seeing what the community response is," said Taryn Breuer, president of the Friends of Jeanette Hunt Board of Directors. "It just seemed like a fun activity to bring the community together and have kind of a re-group after all the flooding and all the stress. It just sounded relaxing."
Breuer said the fundraising event is one part of an effort to make the animal shelter more visible in the community during a transition after hiring new manager Anna Camden.
"The shelter is kind of undergoing a transition right now," Breuer said. "As part of that, one of the goals is to do more outreach, become more visible within the community and hopefully build relationships between the business partners, the chamber members, those kinds of things."
Many people might not realize that the animal shelter helps bring in business and families to Blair, Breuer said.
"The shelter does play a service to the community in addition to the medical aspects," she said. "A lot of people don't realize there is a correlation. There are people who seek out the pet friendly communities, and we want to make sure that we are."
At the Doggie Walk, pets are required to be on leashes or be muzzled if they are a "bully breed," such as pit bulls, bulldogs or boxers. Aggressive dogs are not allowed. Dogs should also be up to date on vaccinations and spayed or neutered if they are the appropriate age to do so.
"Puppies are welcome as long as they're up to date as they can be on their medical," Breuer said.
In addition to supporting the shelter by attending the fundraising event, Breuer said she hopes people come into the shelter to adopt cats and dogs.
"The shelter is very, very full of animals needing homes right now, both dogs and cats of all sizes and colors," she said.
*A previous version of this article stated the manager of the Jeanette Hunt Animal Shelter was Janine Ohlmann. Anna Camden is the current manager of the animal shelter. Camden was hired after the recent departure of Ohlmann.