Underscoring the race’s “unique vision,” Wire2Wire Running’s Matt Terry is delighted to help coordinate the Etowah Valley Humane Society’s second annual Wag & Walk 5K. Set for April 12 at 6:30 p.m., the walk/run will be presented at Sam Smith Park in Cartersville.
“Wire2Wire was approached last year by EVHS … Director Bryan Canty about the possibility of putting on a 5K fundraiser for the organization,” said Terry, who co-owns Wire2Wire with David Matherne. “There are many, many unique road races out there that carry different themes other than just the route or location, and this race is one of those.
“For starters, it’s on a Friday evening, which is a [bit] unique itself. Folks can come out and get their workout before their big Friday night dinner. But also the engagement with their pets and ability to bring them ‘along for the run,’ we think is also what makes this race very unique. It’s quite a scene to see everyone with ‘man’s best friend’ by their side on their run. Makes for a very cool and different event from most road races, [and it is] all for a great cause.”
Participants can sign up in advance for the Wag & Walk 5K by visiting its event page on www.active.com. If one registers by 10 p.m. April 7, the entrance fee will be $25. Costing $35 per person, race-day registration will begin at 5 p.m. The event will start and finish at the Cartersville Soccer Complex, 152 Milner Road.
“Last year being year one is always the most difficult for a race to get off the ground regardless of how much promotion it gets,” Terry said. “We live in a very vibrant running community and the one thing that I noticed last year was, this race drew a slightly different crowd of runners than the usual. Many were actually from outside of [the] Cartersville/Bartow County area, yet all were unified in their support of the mission of the Humane Society and the benefits it brings as an organization.
“It was great to see so many people come into our community from Marietta, Rome, Kennesaw, Calhoun, for a Friday night race. This being year two, and as the word continues to spread, we expect the race will continue to grow, and we hope that the EVHS remains in support of this unique event for years to come.”
Established in the mid-1990s as the Bartow County Humane Society, the organization changed its name to Etowah Valley Humane Society in 2006, the same year it opened the 4,928-square-foot shelter at 36 Ladds Mountain Road.
“This isn’t one of our larger fundraisers, but it is an opportunity for people who support EVHS to bring their pets out, meet each other and do a little bit of walking and socializing with them,” Canty said. “So hopefully it will afford us an opportunity to not only educate the general population on what our viability is in this community, but also make them aware of pet overpopulation in this area, which at this point I really consider to be pandemic.
“Etowah Valley Humane Society, as well as the city of Cartersville [and] Bartow County [governments], Bartow County Animal Control and the League for Animal Welfare [are] working together to set forth initiatives to reduce pet overpopulation in our county in the very foreseeable future.”
Costing about $300,000 per year to operate, the EVHS shelter consists of two staff offices, a quarantine room, two visitation rooms, temperature-controlled kennel runs, a cat room with about 24 cages, a puppy room with around 17 cages, outdoor kennel runs and an on-site dog park.
“Our primary sources of income are the margins off of adoption fees, and we have Casino Night and the South Paw golf event with Bobby Cox and former professional athletes,” Canty said. “Outside of that, we’re really at the mercy of the community. We do have a steady stream of revenue from people who have committed to donating on a regular basis, but everything we bring in can help.”
Further details on EVHS’ fundraiser can be obtained by calling 770-383-3338, visiting http://etowahvalleyhumane.org or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.