North Shore Animal League America, one of the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue organizations, will be holding its fourth annual Walk and Wag event, officially starting this September.
The event doesn’t last just a day, but an entire two months. The event lasts from Sept. 1 until Oct. 31, and it is open to participants nationwide.
Kacie Bogan, the events manager at North Shore Animal League America, said the event is all about fundraising for homeless animals and building a sense of community between humans and their canines.
“North Shore Animal League America really wanted to create an event that brought the animal loving community together and especially with their walking buddy, so an event where you can actually bring your dog with you,” she said. “That’s why we wanted to create Walk and Wag, [and] then all at the same time raise money for homeless pets.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is being held virtually for the first time ever. She said in the past, the celebration event is quite a thrill, not just for the animals, but for everyone involved. “The actual day of the event is basically a celebration of all the funds that were raised for the animals, and bringing the animals together and having everybody in one place to celebrate all of the amazing work that they have done,” Bogan said. “At
our actual event we have food trucks, we have fun games for the dogs to play and it’s just a really, really fun event. It’s sad we won’t be able to be in-person, but we still want to keep the momentum going for this incredible event.”
Like many organizations on Long Island, North Shore Animal League America had to cancel most of their events for the season due to the pandemic.
“We had to cancel all of our major fundraising events,” Bogan said. “We had to cancel our annual luncheon. We had to cancel our gala. That’s why Walk and Wag and the fundraising are so important. These virtual events are really, really important to our mission this year.”
She said fundraising from the event goes towards their no-kill mission.
“All of the funds go to our mission,” Bogan said. “So it’s all for the animals. It’s all for everything we do that is mission-related. So whether that be going to different shelters and rescuing animals at overcrowded shelters or rescuing animals that locally need help. Basically, keeping the animals that we have, in great condition in our facility and getting them ready for their forever, loving home.”
Bogan said North Shore Animal League America decided to do a longer event because they wanted people to have the freedom to participate as they please.
“We wanted to do a longer event to give participants the flexibility and walk when it’s
convenient for them,” she said. “It just makes it easier for people to get involved, instead of having this one day to do something, you can make your own schedule. It also gives more time for people to fundraise. During these difficult times, it’s harder to fundraise and it gives more time and people the ability to get involved.”
As part of the event, participants can share their photos of themselves and their pets on social media, using the hashtag #walkandwag2020.
“Since we can’t be in person, we wanted to build a community where people can see what other people are doing and how they’re fundraising and when they’re walking and see their canine companions. It’s really about building this virtual community since we can’t have the community in person on that special day,” Bogan said.
North Shore Animal League America was founded in 1944 and celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. Bogan said the organization has come so far since its inception. “One of the greatest things about North Shore Animal League America is that we’ve led the way
in pioneering humane relocation,” she said. “So through these efforts, we’ve rescued dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from all across the country and around the world. From places including, and not limited to North Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, California, The
Cayman Islands and Taiwan. So we are really a national organization, but we also get involved with the world. So that’s really why we’ve been able to say that we are the world’s largest no-kill rescue, nurture, adopt and educate organization. We’re not just a shelter. We’re also a no-kill, we’re a rescue, we nurture, we adopt and we educate. So with all of those pieces, that’s what makes us really different.”
For more information on how to register for North Shore Animal League America’s fourth annual Walk and Wag event, visit www.animalleague.org.