Eighteen years later, Best Friends, now the flagship organization for the no-kill movement in the United States, has established its “Strut Your Mutt®” event in Los Angeles, New York City and nine other cities between Aug. 31 and Sept. 28.* The first event Saturday, Aug. 31 will be held at the Best Friends national headquarters in Kanab, Utah, home of the nation’s largest no-kill companion animal sanctuary.
What makes this event special in the world of non-profit organizations is that Best Friends Animal Society puts on the event to help other animal welfare organizations raise money. For many benefitting organizations proceeds from Strut Your Mutt provide the bulk of operating funds for the year.
The “Strut Your Mutt” concept is built around a community dog walk and festival that allows people to raise funds in advance, and then celebrate together with fellow animal lovers and multiple rescue groups/shelters at the event, which includes doggie themed activities like doggie yoga and massage, paw readings, food, contests and much more.
The Kanab Strut Your Mutt event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Registration starts at 8 a.m., walk begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by fun festival ending at noon.
This year’s fund raising goal is $2 million nationwide for 240 local animal shelters and rescue groups. The donations raised through Strut Your Mutt will be used by groups to fund adoption programs and spay/neuter services, and other life-saving programs, ultimately impacting the number of pets entering and leaving the shelters. Last year, $1.3 million was raised for some 180 groups.
“When we started Best Friends, the conventional wisdom was that killing homeless pets was an unfortunate but unavoidable fact of life,” said Gregory Castle, Best Friends’ chief executive officer. “Back then every day some 45,000 animals were being killed in our nation’s shelters. Best Friends was one of the very first organizations to challenge the idea that killing animals in shelters was acceptable, we believed then and believe now that together we can save them all. And the number has dropped to 9,000 every day but that number can be zero and should be.
"For close to 30 years, Best Friends Animal Society has been working to reduce the number of deaths and put an end to this senseless killing once and for all. Strut Your Mutt is a celebratory way for the shelters and groups to come together and invite the public to join them and Best Friends is the fight to save shelter animals’ lives,” Castle said.
For more information, visit www.strutyourmutt.org.