Pet lovers, dogs attend Paws in the PARC

Community members and their pets started the 5K fun run/walk at Hemlock Park, where they later ended. Funds raised during the event benefit the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County. (Pioneer photo/Meghan Haas)

BIG RAPIDS — While it may be common for Hemlock Park visitors to notice a few people walking their dogs along the trail, the focus of Saturday’s fun walk/run was more than just getting some exercise. Community members and their pets streamed through the park to raise money for the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County.

The 5K Paws in the PARC event, sponsored by the Ferris State University organization PetSavers, has taken place twice a year since ARC opened five years ago. Funds raised during the event benefit the shelter.

“Everyone was so excited. It was such a nice day,” said ARC Director Cate Arroe. “People love to have activities where their dog can go with them.”

As runners and walkers signed in and stretched, their canines had a chance to greet one another and play for a few moments before the walk began. Not every dog on the fun walk/run trotted alongside or pulled members of their forever family on the trail. Some of the pets in attendance on Saturday still are looking for loving homes, such as Gina, Ebony and Box, all of which were happy to socialize with community members.

“This is one of our favorite events of the year,” Arroe said. “We get to see some of the dogs who have been adopted, and we get to bring some shelter dogs out into the community.”

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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