Run (or Walk) for a Cause: 5 Fun Events That Help Animals
Is your dog your favorite running buddy? Are your long walks together the highlight of your day? Consider turning that shared love of exercise into a way to help other critters: Sign up for a run or walk that supports animal welfare. We've found five events whose proceeds go to animal charities or causes; all of them take place later this summer or early this fall, which gives you plenty of time to train. Best of all, some of these events will even let you bring Fido along to join in on the fun, so you can spend a nice day bonding and sweating — and raising money — with your best friend. So, really, there’s no excuse not to participate.
Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals
Who: Farm Sanctuary has rescued thousands of farm animals and runs the largest farm animal rescue and refuge in North America.
What it is: Walk for Farm Animals is a walk whose proceeds help the organization take proper care of and find homes for abused and neglected animals saved from factory farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses. Walk supporters also help Farm Sanctuary spread the message about the need for federal legislation to protect farm animals from cruelty.
Cool event detail: This year’s spokesman is actor and farm animal advocate Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones.
Where: Nationwide. Check the events page to find a walk near you.
When: September 8 to November 3
PAWS Chicago Run for Their Lives
Who: PAWS Chicago is the city’s largest no-kill shelter. Since the shelter opened in 1997, PAWS Chicago has helped more than 20,000 animals find homes and has decreased the number of needless homeless pet euthanasias in the city by more than 50 percent.
What it is: All money raised by the 12th annual Run for Their Lives 8K Run/4K Walk will go to help PAWS Chicago save more homeless cats and dogs. Participating in the PAWS Chicago run and donating to the cause will help the organization reach its goal of making Chicago entirely no-kill in the next five years.
Cool event detail: If you can’t bring Fido along to run beside you in the race, he can still participate in spirit. Volunteers will make a button for you to wear if you bring a photo of your pet.
Where: Montrose Harbor, Chicago, Ill.
When: September 23
Cheetah Chase 5K
Who: The Binder Park Zoo in Battlecreek, Mich., is a self-supporting nonprofit that is an active participant in rare and endangered species conservation.
What it is: Funds raised from the Cheetah Chase 5K go toward the zoo’s cheetah conservation program.
Cool event detail: Participants run this 5K through the actual zoo. When you trek up and down the zoo's rugged terrain you won't even notice you're working up a sweat as you speed by herds of zebras and giraffes.
Where: Battlecreek, Mich.
When: June 23
MSPCA Walk for Animals
Who: Founded in 1868, MSPCA-Angell in Boston, Mass., is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. The organization’s services include animal adoption, veterinary care and animal advocacy.
What it is: Pledges and donations from the mile-long MSPCA Walk for Animals help the nonprofit care for our furry friends and find them forever homes.
Cool event detail: Over the last five years, the event has raised more than $1 million; this year, MSPCA hopes to raise $350,000.
Where: Boston, Hyannis and Newbury, Mass.
When: September 9
Frolic for Flippers 5K
Who: The Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center (MARC) at the University of New England’s Marine Science Education and Rehabilitation Center rescues and cares for stranded marine animals and sea turtles.
What it is: All proceeds from the Frolic for Flippers 5K go to MARC.
Cool event detail: By participating, you could save the life of a whale, sea turtle or seal.
Where: The University of New England campus in Bitteford, Maine
When: September 22