Run for Animals benefits humane association


Rachel Melnick and her dog, Lana, finish the Run for the Animals on the B-Line trail on Satuday morning to raise money for the Monroe County Humane Association. Ike Hajinazarian and Ike Hajinazarian

Barks and cheers filled the air around the B-Line trail Saturday as the community joined together to raise funds for the Monroe County Humane Association.

The Monroe County Humane Association Run for the Animals was a timed 5K race and walk that also included a one-mile dog walk.

Months of planning went into an event that would not only get people and animals outside, but would also raise money and awareness for proper animal care.

Rebecca Warren , executive director of the humane association, said the event did not really hit her until a month before the race started. In total, planning started about four months ago.

“It takes all of our staff,” Warren said. “It takes all of our board and 20 volunteers to pull this event off.”

This year there were more than 300 participants.

This is the humane association’s largest fundraiser of the year, and money donated goes toward its many services, including its spay/neuter assistance program and emergency vet services.

Warren said the association’s main goal is to introduce the community to a healthy and safe way to care for their pets. Regardless of whether it’s a dog, cat or even an owl, the race’s fundraising will go toward that goal.

Corinne Innes, the winner of the race, said she joined because she wanted to support Bloomington’s dogs. She said she was a volunteer at the local animal shelter.

This was not her first year participating in the event, but this year she came out on top. She said part of the reason for her win was seeing all of the dogs.

It put her in a good mood, she said.

“I’ll call it dog power,” she said, laughing. “Racing and puppies are my two favorite things.”

Jenn Smallwood was also at the event. Her family, including their three dogs, participated in the one-mile walk. This was her first time participating in the event.

“It was just really fun to see all the people with their animals,” she said. “We were happy with how our dogs acted really nicely.”

One of her dogs, Shadow, a black lab, came from the shelter four years ago.

Though the Bloomington Animal Shelter and the Monroe County Humane Association are not affiliated, their end goals are the same: Protect Bloomington’s animals.

This is especially the case since both Warren and Smallwood said Bloomington was a big “dog city.”

Smallwood said she participated in Saturday’s walk to help give back to the humane association for all the work they do.

As Shadow wove from her to her son to her husband, panting and wagging his tail, Smallwood said there was all the more importance for the humane association because she lives in a community like Bloomington that cares about animals so much.

She said people need to make sure animals are getting spayed and neutered and prevent puppy mills from overrunning the community with dogs that are not cared for properly.

“I think it’s important that we put our actions and our money where our mouth is, so to speak,” she said, rubbing Shadow’s back.

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