It was 1995 when Best Friends Animal Society® started a small dog walk event in its home state of Utah. Back then, even the most optimistic animal welfare enthusiast could not have imagined the community event growing to a multi-million dollar fundraiser benefiting hundreds of shelters and rescue groups around the country.
The Los Angeles Strut Your Mutt takes place on September 6 at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades for an early-evening twilight walk and fun run for participants and their dogs, followed by an outdoor festival with activities for humans and canines alike.
19 years later, Best Friends — now the flagship organization for the no-kill movement in the United States –has taken Strut Your Mutt® http://www.strutyourmutt.org/ beyond its Salt Lake City birthplace to 12 different cities for events in 2014 between August and September.
Funds raised through Strut Your Mutt are utilized locally to fund adoption programs, spay/neuter services and other life-saving programs, which dramatically impact the number of pets entering and leaving the shelters. Last year, nearly $1.7 million benefitted approximately 230 animal welfare groups. The 2014 goal is to raise a grand total of $2 million.
“This year Best Friends is celebrating its 30th anniversary. When we started, the conventional wisdom was that killing homeless pets was an unfortunate but unavoidable fact of life. Every day some 45,000 animals were being killed in our nation’s shelters,” said Gregory Castle, Best Friends’ chief executive officer. “Best Friends was one of the very first organizations to challenge the idea that killing animals in shelters was acceptable. Because of a lot of hard work through the years by Best Friends and other organizations, the daily number has dropped to 9,000, but we are committed to reducing that number to zero.”
What makes Strut Your Mutt special in the world of non-profit organizations is that Best Friends Animal Society provides the infrastructure for the events, but allows local organizations to benefit from funds raised. For many small, grassroots animal welfare organizations, proceeds from Strut Your Mutt provide an important part of the groups’ annual operating funds.
“Strut Your Mutt is a celebratory way for the shelters and groups to come together and invite the public to join us in our call to action: Save Them All,” Castle said.
Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles is pleased to collaborate with Eat|See|Hear http://www.eatseehear.com/ – L.A.’s premiere outdoor movie, food truck, and live music event series – for a doggie-themed activities (featuring the famous Canine Cafe and Ruff & Relax), live music, and a movie in the park to conclude a day of strutting for homeless pets. The Los Angeles Strut Your Mutt is sponsored by: Bob Smith MINI of Calabasas, Cloud Star, Yelp, Natural Balance, Petco Foundation, Palisidian Post and Go Country 105.
For more information and to register, visit www.strutyourmutt.org.