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Walking All the Way to the Bank

Getting good mileage out of dog walk fundraisers

In Maryland, they March for the Animals. In Massachusetts, they Strut for Strays. Denver used to do the Doggy Dash; now it’s got the Furry Scurry.

Dog walk fundraisers (and their clever names) are a staple in the animal sheltering and rescue community—a fun way for organizations to generate money by bringing together animal lovers and their pooches to exercise, socialize, sample local vendors’ goods, enter contests, play games, enjoy entertainment, and maybe meet a local celebrity. Their appeal is universal: A walk through the park with your dog and your animal-loving neighbors on a sunny spring or crisp fall day—what’s not to like?

“Everybody loves a dog walk, and if the weather’s good, it’s perfect,” says Aileen Gabbey, executive director of the Maryland SPCA. For the organizers, of course, it’s a whirlwind, says Gabbey, who used to run her group’s signature fundraising event, the March for the Animals. “It’s like your wedding day,” she recalls.

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