The Rutland County Humane Society is calling on all dogs to bring their owners up to Pine Hill Park this Sunday to run or walk on the trails and raise money for the shelter. This is the first time the Humane Society has hosted a “Trails for Tails” event, and if it goes well, staff members hope to add it to their annual fundraising repertoire, according to events and fundraising coordinator Amelia Stamp.
Stamp said the idea for Trails for Tails came from staff members who love spending time in nature.
“We were looking for different events to mix it up and to attract animal lovers in the community,” she said. “We have a lot of hikers and runners and people who love going on the trails.”
The event will include a 5K and a 1-mile fun run, both of which Stamp said can be walked or run. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and participants are encouraged to bring their dogs along.
“I am excited to see how many dogs we get and maybe we will see a few alumni, which would be really cool,” Stamp said. “We love seeing dogs from here in their homes. That’s why a lot of us work here to see those kinds of happy endings.”
Also, the Humane Society plans to bring some adoptable pets to the event, and volunteers will walk these dogs on the 1-mile loop. This helps give the dogs more outdoor time and might introduce them to potential future owners.
Stamp explained that summer is a busy fundraising season for the shelter, which relies on these events to help pay for basic services.
“Almost all of our fundraisers raise money for medical expenses like spaying and neutering, and all of the expenses that go into animals when they come in the door,” Stamp said. “That and shelter supplies, like cleaning supplies, anything we need to keep the shelter running.”
All of the pets that enter the shelter receive some amount of medical attention, whether that means vaccinations, teeth cleaning or a microchip implant to help return them to their future owners if they ever get lost.
“We lose money on every adoption,” Stamp said. “We have a few (fees) just so we can cover enough that we can continue to care for more animals.”
Fundraisers help cover the rest of the cost. This summer, the shelter has put on cat yoga and a yard sale, and they have several events planned including the Pints for Pets homebrewing competition and a dock-diving event for dogs.
Trails and Tails is being organized in partnership with Rutland Recreation and Parks, and Outreach Coordinator Colleen Shattuck said she hopes attendees learn about new parts of the county.
“If it’s someone who sees the event because they like Pine Hill Park, they will get introduced to the Humane Society and visa versa,” Shattuck said. “I hope that more people know that the Humane Society is a great resource we have in Rutland County.”
Shattuck said Rutland Rec has partnered with the shelter on a number of events in the past, and she loves seeing people bring their pets to the parks.
“It’s really awesome to see how many great events they bring to the community because they use them as fundraisers, but it’s also something really great for families to do,” she said.