Better hurry!

Humane Society’s Furry Skurry returns

By Lisa Bennett

Photo: The annual Humane Society Furry Skurry takes place May 23 at Eastwood MetroPark

Attention Dayton residents: If you think your furry sidekick is the cutest, smartest or best tail-wagger in the area, you’re in for a special surprise: the annual Furry Skurry event is back! Replete with all sorts of fun activities, Furry Skurry offers pet owners a chance to enter their pet into a number of different contests, ranging from the best pet/owner look-alike team, best trick, best tail-wagger and best kisser. There’s a lot more to the event than contests too. Now in its 24th year, this family-oriented, pet-friendly event is bigger and better than ever. The event festivities include a flea(less) market, pet contests with prizes, a kid zone complete with bounce houses and face painting, a free pancake breakfast for participants, pet-friendly photo booth, doggie demos (kids love to watch these!) pet parades and much more! There are even VIP amenities for those who sign up (preregistration for the VIP amenities is encouraged to reserve your space) including a pet spa, special treats and toys, VIP parking and more.

“I want people and pets to have a good time because part of our goal is to celebrate animals,” says Brian Weltge, president and CEO of the Humane Society. As a nonprofit organization, the need for volunteers and community support is essential to keep things running so they can help as many animals as possible. In fact, last year, the Human Society of Greater Dayton was able to help find homes for over 2,000 animals. It’s not just cats and dogs that they help, either. The Humane Society helps all sorts of animals including rabbits, exotic pets, farm animals, birds and even squirrels. Weltge adds, “A lot of people believe that we are a county organization, but we are a not-for-profit organization and we are the largest no-kill [animal welfare agency] in the community.”

That is very good news for animals in need of a good home. The Humane Society also investigates cases of animal cruelty and neglect, something that is sadly needed – especially since there’s an average of over 700 cases each year. Fortunately, those mistreated animals are rescued and many find good, happy homes with loving owners, all because people came together and cared enough to help them.

“Part of our goal is awareness, the plight of animals in our community and the need for help,” Weltge says.

Furry Skurry began as a 5K run back in the early ’90s when the Humane Society first became a nonprofit organization. With a growing need for awareness and funds to help the countless animals in need throughout the area, staff and volunteers were looking for fun ways to raise money and bring the community together.

The “K” in “Skurry” stood for 5K.

People and pets had such a good time the first year that they decided to make it an annual event. As each year passed, the event grew and more fun activities were added until it became the large, family event that it is today.

Don’t like to run? No problem. A 5K walk is another activity that has been added along the way. There is literally something for everyone, even non-pet owners. In fact, if you don’t have a pet and are considering adopting, Furry Skurry is a great way to check out some of the animals available for adoption. There will be lots of adoptable pets on hand for you to visit. Not looking to adopt, but still want to just have a fun afternoon with an animal that would love your attention? The fine folks at the Humane Society can provide one for you for the event. This is a fabulous option for those who want to make sure taking on a pet is the right decision for them.

When you do attend Furry Skurry, there are a few practical tips and rules that you should be aware of. First, water, treats and bags for animal waste will be provided. If you’re bringing a dog, please be aware that dogs of all breeds need to be licensed, leashed, spayed/neutered and up to date on all vaccinations. Please only bring dogs that can be around other people without being muzzled. To keep dogs and other animals from being scared, please do not bring bicycles, skates or skateboards as these can be frightening to some animals. The most important rule, however, is just to have fun!

Furry Skurry will be held rain or shine on Saturday, May 23 at Eastwood MetroPark, 1385 Old Harshman Rd. Preregistration is encouraged. Registration fees are tax-deductible and are $35, $25 for ages 13-18 and free for children under 12. VIP registration is $60. Participants who register will be treated to a free pancake breakfast, T-shirt and goody bag. For more information, please visit hsdayton.org/furryskurry.

Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at LisaBennett@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at LisaBennett@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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