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20th Annual Dog Jog and 5K Run Raises more than $190,000 for homeless pets

Posted on Friday, April 15, 2022

In a return to the campus of the Richmond SPCA, the 20th Annual Dog Jog and 5K Run, presented by Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, brought more than 1,000 participants and 500 dogs to run, walk, and wag their way to raising money for vulnerable animals.

After two years of hosting the event virtually, we were grateful to be back together in person at our humane center. You could feel the excitement, and the feedback we have been receiving from participants has been terrific and heartwarming. We’ve also enjoyed seeing all the photos shared and tagged online (search #DogJog). Please visit the event photo album to relive the fun thanks to our wonderful staff and volunteer event photographers.

For the first time, we introduced the “Little Paws” Kids’ Fun Run, sponsored by Richmond Pediatrics, and it was a great addition to the morning’s festivities. Younger guests also enjoyed face painting, crafts, and a giant bouncy slide in our Kids’ Fun Zone thanks to the generous sponsorship of Doswell Orthodontics.

Kids dash for the finish along Rhoadmiller Street in the first ever Little Paws Fun Run. Before the kids’ run, children ages 4-10 were encouraged to visit the Richmond SPCA’s humane education tent to decorate their own race bibs.

Participants were invited to run the 5K on our official chipped and timed course, brought to you by Williams Mullen. Our start and finish line, sponsored by Genworth, saw hundreds of runners that morning, with about 100 additional participants choosing the “run anywhere” virtual option.

The Dog Jog, a one mile course sponsored by Apex Systems, welcomed the entire family, including four- (and three-) legged companions. Our wonderful Running Buddies volunteers took shelter pets, available for adoption, along the route for a nice brisk walk on a sunny Saturday morning.

Throughout the event, our Vendor Fair, sponsored by Moore Subaru, was a main attraction, with dozens of vendors selling pet-friendly merchandise and providing information about their companies. There was something for everyone, including a Pets’ Fun Zone, sponsored by NDSE. Dogs of all ages and sizes tried out the agility course and other tricks for treats with Richmond SPCA trainers.

The awards ceremony, brought to you by Invisible Fence Brand of Richmond, highlighted our star adult, youth, and team fundraisers as well as the top overall 5k race winners. Congratulations to everyone who won one of our special prizes—you won by helping homeless pets! Speaking of winning, our PetMeds Raffle helped raise more than $12,750 and featured seven awesome prizes. We are grateful to everyone who made this our most profitable raffle in Dog Jog history!

Top fundraisers Dana Taylor (2nd place), Stephen Carter (1st place) and Duane Robertson are all members of Team Running Buddies, a group of dedicated Richmond SPCA volunteers who provide regular enrichment to homeless dogs in our care by taking them on runs and walks.

This success would not be possible without the impressive leadership of our extraordinary Event Chair Julie Thomas, who, along with her husband Bruce Thomas, sponsored the tribute signs in honor of Robin Starr along the 5k and Dog Jog routes. We are deeply grateful to Julie and everyone on the Dog Jog Committee for making this event possible.

Our deepest thanks go to everyone at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, for being the title sponsor for this event. Their constant and very generous support mean the world to us. Special thanks also to Hogwash Car Express for sponsoring the pre-event packet pickup and James River Air for their support of our registration area the morning of the event.

Emerson Hughes, founder of Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, waves from the title sponsor’s tent in the vendor fair.

And thank you to all of you who secured or made cash sponsorships, donated prizes or raffle items, formed corporate or family/friend teams, made donations, fundraised, registered, sponsored our staff and volunteers to participate, encouraged your friends to sign up, sold or bought raffle tickets, volunteered the day of the event and more. With your enormous help, we raised crucial funds to save the lives of pets throughout our community and to deliver essential services to the people who love them. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you did to make this year’s Dog Jog and 5K Run a tremendous success for the animals and a TON of fun for everyone in attendance.

We can’t wait to see you again next year!

Carol Anne and Zeke

Carol Anne Lajoie serves as our director of development, overseeing fundraising activities for the Richmond SPCA. Her passions include Bruce Springsteen, making up songs about her dogs and being around smart women. She lives with her husband, adopted dogs and a flock of highly demanding chickens in North Chesterfield.

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