Annual Boardwalkin’ for Pets to benefit humane society

(April 24, 2015) The Ocean City Boardwalk will be filled with dogs and their owners, Saturday, April 25, for the Worcester County Humane Society’s largest fundraiser of the year, Boardwalkin’ for Pets. 

There is a $25 minimum donation to participate in the 16th annual event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the inlet in front of the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum.

“It’s a great community event for kids, families and the large population of people in Worcester County and the surrounding areas who have rescued animals,” said Heather Bahrami, chair of the Boardwalkin’ committee.

Participants can begin walking with their four-legged friends anytime after 9 a.m. Walkers can choose between the full 5-mile Boardwalk route from the inlet to 27th Street and back, take the 2.5-mile trip to 12th Street and back or decide on a different course, she said.

Complimentary photographs will be taken of owners and their pets with a red carpet laid out down on the pier.

Refreshments will be provided by Harrison’s Harbor Watch at the inlet and Layton’s on 16th Street.

Owners can also enter their dogs into contests for Largest Dog, Smallest Dog, Best Dressed and Best Trick. Winners will take home a basket filled with dog treats, toys, beds, food, leashes and collars. Look forward to all kinds of goodies pet-related, Bahrami said.

Cats will not be left out. Enter the annual Cutest Cat photo contest. Photos of all the cutest felines will be posted for the public to vote on.

Photos should including the owner and pet’s names, address, phone number and e-mail address. The winner will take home a prize basket full of cat-related treats. Pictures will not be returned and become property of the Worcester County Humane Society.

Individual participants and teams who raise the most funds will receive gift baskets containing gift certificates to restaurants, a two-night stay at the Hilton and dog items from Greene Turtle, Bahrami said.

Walkers who raised $25 will receive a dog walk bandana. A T-shirt is the prize for a $50 donation and a dog walk lunch tote is given to participants who collected $100. Money and pledge sheets are needed to qualify for the limited number of prizes. 

Last year, $25,000 was raised for the shelter with about 120 walkers and their dogs. A couple of activities were also going on in Ocean City during last year’s events, which effected the turnout, Bahrami said.

This weekend, the goal is to raise $50,000 for the Worcester County Humane Society, which relies mainly on donations and provides care to animals until they are adopted into suitable homes.

As of Tuesday morning, $12,540 had been raised so far.

“There is a need in the area and we found 240 different families for animals last year,” Bahrami said.

This is the first time registration was online and 535 people have said they are coming on Facebook. “If we get half, it’s amazing,” she added.

Attendees can adopt a shelter dog for the event and must make arrangements in advance by calling the shelter at 410-213-0146.

“It continues to grow and we try to make it bigger and better each year,” Bahrami said. “It’s a fun time and I am looking forward to it.”

South Moon Under on 81st Street and Malibu’s Surf Shop on Eighth Street and the Boardwalk will be donating a percentage of their sales on Saturday to the humane society.

The weekend-long event kicks off on Friday, April 24, at Adolfo’s on the Ocean at 13th Street and the Boardwalk from 5-9 p.m. with a spaghetti and meatball dinner including a side salad, rolls, dessert and non-alcoholic beverages for $20 at the door. Advance tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at www.worcestercountyhumanesociety.org/boardwalkin-for-pets.

Adolfo’s will donate a percentage from each ticket purchased to the Worcester County Humane Society, and there will be a silent auction to support the shelter as well.

On Sunday, April 26, Coastal Kayak in Fenwick Island, Del. will host “Paddle with Your Pooch” for the second year from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Paddlers are provided with a kayak and life jacket for their donation and all proceeds go to the humane society. Having a dog is not required to participate and everyone is welcome.

For information about Board Walkin’ for Pets or Paddle with Your Pooch, call the human society at 410-213-0146.

Visit www.worcestercountyhumanesociety.org to register or learn more about the county’s no-kill animal shelter, located at 12330 Eagles Nest Road off Route 611 in West Ocean City.

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