CENTRE HALL — The 11th annual Dog Jog 5K Run/Walk was held at the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall on April 27. This event is a fundraiser for Pets Come First, a no-kill shelter in Potter Township.
This event is different from the usual running events, since it allows the participating runners to take their dogs with them on the run.
There was also a 1.5K walk for the smaller, older or slower dogs or people. Prizes from local businesses and organizations were awarded to the top male and female finishers.
Inside an exhibit building, vendors of pet-related merchandise and foods were present, and a silent auction of items donated by local businesses was conducted to raise funds. An agility training area was set up beside the building and food and beverages were available. The dogs did a lot of barking and socializing in their unique ways before the race.
Among the vendors was April Praskovich and her son Trey Wagner representing Trey’s Tasty Treats. They make homemade preservative-free treats for dogs and sell various cups, glasses and stickers. It’s a home-based business that travels to craft fairs and dog shows.
Pets Come First manager Deb Warner lined up around 90 human and canine runners to start the race at 10 a.m. With plenty of barking and cheering, the runners took off on a five kilometer (3.1 miles) serpentine loop around the fairgrounds, braving the cool temperatures and a stiff breeze, returning to the finish line near the Grange exhibit buildings. At 11 a.m. the 1.5K walk began with participants enjoying a leisurely stroll on a shorter course on the grounds.
Warner said that Pets Come First found homes for 195 animals in the past year. The shelter also provides spay and neuter clinics for pets, as well as finding permanent homes for them.