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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Exercise, join the dogs, help the Spokane Humane Society

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Dogs are expected to overrun the neighborhood near Francis Avenue and Havana Street on Saturday as hundreds of dogs and their owners gather for the 15th annual Parade of Paws fundraiser for the Spokane Humane Society.

Walkers can choose a 2- or 4-mile route through the area north of Francis, a walk that will take them right by Mount St. Michael’s Church, where they can get their pooch blessed. The event is a pledge walk, with pet owners asked to collect pledges from friends and family members.

“We are emphasizing that this year, but there’s no minimum,” said Development Director Pia Hallenberg. “If you can give a dollar and give a dollar, we’re happy and we’ll say thank you.”

Walkers who raise $25 or more will receive a goodie bag and those who collect $100 or more will receive a Parade of Paws T-shirt.

People can go online at to sign up. People can also register in person at the Humane Society, 6607 N. Havana St., from noon to 7 p.m. Friday or beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. The walk begins at 10 a.m., and there will be water stations for people as well as the pooches.

This year there also will be food options, including David’s Pizza, kettle corn, hot dogs, Brain Freeze ice cream and a small beer garden. More than two dozen vendors are expected, and there will be face-painting and other activities for kids.

“We’re hoping that people will stay around for a bit,” Hallenberg said.

The organization has been selling raffle tickets to a large, two-story doghouse with a front patio and roof terrace that is sure to be a hit with a pampered canine. The tickets are sold out, but the drawing will be held during Saturday’s event. The winner must be able to haul the doghouse away.

People can walk without a dog and a small number of shelter dogs will be available as walk companions. They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis Saturday.

People also can bring pets that are not dogs as long as they are on leashes or contained, but Hallenberg urges caution. “I was told there were pygmy goats one year and that’s fine,” she said. “People should just know this is a dog-centric event. Just be safe.”

The Humane Society is an adoption center with a vet clinic. It takes overflow animals from SCRAPS and other shelters, as well as pets surrendered by owners. The Parade of Paws is one of the organization’s largest annual fundraisers, though the number of participants and amount of money raised varies from year to year.

“It’s just a fun walk in the morning,” Hallenberg said. “It’s a fun thing to do for everybody.”

A lot of people register at the last minute, so Hallenberg has no idea how many people will participate. This year the organization made a big push on social media to publicize the event and bought billboard space to spread the word to animal enthusiasts.

“It’s really hard to predict how many people will come,” she said. “If I can get 500 people up here it would be considered a success.”

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