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For our four-legged friends

By Celina Ip

Dogs of all shapes and sizes were walking for a cause this past weekend.


On Sept. 23 at the Pembroke Waterfront, dozens braved the heat as they marched alongside their four-legged friends for the Renfrew County SPCA’s Friends for Life Walk.

Each year the Friends For Life Walk is hosted by Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) chapters across the province, with the common goal of trying to change the lives of animals.

Serving as the Renfrew County SPCA’s biggest annual fundraiser for the past 15-plus years, upwards of 100 people with at least 50 dogs took part in the event to raise funds for the local SPCA.

The wide variety of canines included miniature schnauzers, pugs, golden retrievers, border collies, Labrador retrievers, chihuahuas, Boston terriers, a shaggy Newfoundlander and everything in between.

Petawawa’s Amy Taylor was joined by her daughters and their dogs Nanook and Lilly, a golden pyrenees and a cocker spaniel.

“My family has 11 animals, including three dogs, a few cats and some birds. Two of our kittens we just adopted recently from the local SPCA and that's how we heard about this,” said Taylor. “We rescued two kittens recently from the SPCA and that's how we heard about this so we thought we'd do this here for the SPCA. We also just moved here a month ago for the military and we absolutely love this place. It’s much more dog-friendly than where we used to live up in Edmonton, Alberta.”

While walking together from the Pembroke Marina to Riverside Park and back again – and being treated to watering stations along the way – the dogs were excitedly wagging their tails as they became acquainted with one another and made new furry friends.

Along with the walk, the fun-filled afternoon included a barbecue, Skyza games, a pet photography station, a Pet Valu nail-clipping station, cooling stations, and various vendors selling all kinds of items geared towards canines.

Renfrew County OSPCA community development coordinator Danielle Brunette commented that the excellent turnout – despite the major heat – shows how passionate people are about their pooches.

Today we got beautiful sunshine and a lot of heat – we got both this year. It’s been a great day and we’ve had really great attendance. We have people from Pembroke, Petawawa, Deep River and all over Renfrew County who’ve come out today to be a part of this event and to support our local organization,” said Brunette. “Without the community that supports us and without our volunteers our doors wouldn't be open. So we're so lucky to be in such a wonderful community that supports us each and every day and makes sure that our animal shelter gets what it needs so we can provide the care that we do to all the animals that come through our door.”

As of Sept. 26, the event raised more than $12,000 - with more coming in as the numbers are fully tallied - which will support programs and services provided by the centre to the community.

With the hope of eventually reaching their $34,000 goal over the next few months, donations can be made in person at the Renfrew County OSPCA or online.


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