Richmond SPCA cancels 18th Annual Dog Jog and 5K Run scheduled for March 21
Richmond, VA — The Richmond SPCA has announced the decision to cancel the 18th Annual Dog Jog and 5K Run scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020, in light of public health recommendations to avoid large gatherings during the coronavirus/COVID19 pandemic. The cancelation comes following Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s declaration of a state of emergency and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s urging that events in the city be canceled or postponed.
“The decision to cancel was a difficult yet prudent one, and we want to do what is best for all involved who have given such loyal support to this lifesaving event over the last 18 years,” said Tamsen Kingry, chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. “The health and wellbeing of our community, staff, volunteers, vendors, sponsors, participants and the animals who rely on us is always of paramount importance to the Richmond SPCA. We are working to create virtual opportunities that maintain the spirit of the event—celebrating companion animals while fundraising for the care of homeless pets—in a way that maintains the social distance recommended by public health officials.”
While gatherings related to the Dog Jog and 5K Run on March 21, including the After Paw-ty at Hardywood, will not take place, the local nonprofit plans to transform the Dog Jog and 5K Run into a virtual event. The Dominion Energy Vendor Fair will be postponed for a time that is convenient and safe for people and pets to again come together. Additional information for registered participants is being shared at richmondspca.org/cancellation-faqs.
The Dog Jog and 5K Run is presented by Holiday Barn Pet Resorts and is the Richmond SPCA’s largest family-friendly fundraising event, typically drawing 2,000 to 3,000 people and more than 600 dogs. As of Thursday evening, the event fundraising total had reached $144,000 toward a goal of $195,000. Participants are urged to continue sharing their fundraising pages and asking friends and family to help fund the care of the more than 4,000 homeless dogs and cats who are given shelter and rehabilitation at the Richmond SPCA each year.
Those who had registered to attend can still pick up race bibs and packets next week. Details for packet pickup will be shared with registered participants by email. Though the 5K course sponsored by Williams Mullen and Dog Jog course sponsored by Zoetis won’t be filled with runners and dogs next Saturday, instructions for participating in a #VirtualDogJog are being added to the Richmond SPCA’s website for supporters to run, walk or jog with their dogs on a favorite road or trail and share.
The Richmond SPCA, founded in 1891, is a no-kill humane organization dedicated to the guiding principle that every life is precious. As a national leader in humane care and education, the Richmond SPCA is building a more compassionate community with comprehensive programs designed to reduce pet homelessness. For more information, visit richmondspca.org.