Annual Race and Rescue event puts pets and owners together for exercise

Published 12:14 am Saturday, September 12, 2015

The deadline is approaching for early registration for the Third Annual Race to Rescue Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society 5K and 1 Mile Dog Jog.

The run will take place on Oct. 3 at the Earle May Boat Basin nature trail at 9 a.m. Early registration forms are due before Sept. 18 along with a registration fee of $30, which guarantees shirt size. Day-of registration is at 8 a.m. and costs $40.

Overall male and female and first, second and third place will be awarded per age/gender category. The one-mile dog jog will not be timed. Canine companions must be “non-aggressive,” current on vaccines, collared with ID tags and must be on a four or six-foot leash. Retractable leashes will not be allowed on the course.

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Sept. 18 is also the deadline for businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring the event.

“I started this 5K/1 Mile benefit race in 2011 because I wanted to help the BDCHS raise money,” Race coordinator Nicole Touchton said. “I am not affiliated with them in any way, but as a previous vet tech and current owner of a menagerie of pets, I want to support their efforts in helping promoting animal welfare and reducing pet overpopulation. People don’t realize how costly it is to run an animal shelter, and I want to help them in any way I can. We don’t have a shelter in Seminole Co., so BDCHS is our closest. I have a few rescue pets from there myself.”

Touchton said there were 37 participants last year and around $2,600 was raised for BDCHS, and she is hoping to have more this year.

With not a lot of events in the area that allow pet owners to socialize with their pets, Touchton thought it would be a great idea to include dogs in a race. The idea seemed like a perfect fit, seeing as how many in Bainbridge like to exercise with their dogs, anyways.

“It is a fun way to get people and their dogs out for a morning of exercise and fun while benefiting shelter dogs and pets that are still awaiting a loving forever home,” Touchton said. “The event is also a good way to raise awareness for the shelter. Some people forget that a rescue pet is just as good, if not better, than a pet you  might pay a lot more for from a breeder or kennel.”