CAMDEN — As construction officially started Saturday, June 13, in the rear of 123 John St., future home of P.A.W.S Animal Adoption Center, community members joined staff and volunteers in a fundraising event that gave canines the muzzle of approval.
Shelter dogs Mindy, Emma and Leroy participated alongside other dogs and owners in the 2.3-mile walk, which started and ended at the John Street location.
Before the parade started, attendees checked in with volunteers from The First Bank, which sponsored the event. Owners received bags of goodies that included T-shirts and waste disposal bags, and children had their faces painted.
When it was all said and done, the Paws On Parade event raised more than $6,000, according to Kathleen Gilbert of P.A.W.S.
Of the many balloons inflated and distributed, one popped in the hollowness of the old fire station, spooking a dog out of its harness, fleeing across the street, into the John Street United Methodist Church parking lot, and straight to the family minivan. The dog was comforted by its family before being brought back, reluctantly, for the parade.
Walkers strolled Pearl, Willow, and Mechanic streets before stopping at a water and biscuit station set up in the Riverhouse Inn parking lot. The group then returned to John Street via Elm Street in downtown, before retracing Willow and Pearl streets.
The Loyal Biscuit donated all prizes awarded to certain participants.
Walking team Andrea and Patrick Benson raised $610 for the shelter and accompanied Mindy for the walk.
Zoey Pease raised $337 for the event.
“All of the money we raise today helps us do everything we do every day,” P.A.W.S Executive Director Amie Hutchison said of this organization’s commitment to dogs and cats. This includes “making sure dogs like Emma and Mindy have a safe place to be while waiting for their new homes, that they are all spayed and neutered and up-to-date on their shots.”
Other prizes were awarded to the walker and dog that looked alike, and to best owner and dog walking duo, and best costume.
In regards to the capital campaign underway to relocate the animal shelter to its future location, Hutchison told participants of the shelter’s needs. The current shelter is “down the road, about a mile, in a really small space...Our dog kennels are often full, so we have waiting lists.”
P.A.W.S staff hope to move into the old station by late October, according Hutchison.
The next fundraiser for the shelter will be Pints for Paws Thursday, June 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Andy's Brew Pub on Route 1, Lincolnville Beach. Click here for more information on this event.
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Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.