DEARBORN (WWJ) - Preparation is underway for the Dearborn Animal Shelter’s eighth annual Mutt Strut & Pet Expo — which takes place on Saturday, May 11 at Ford Field Park in Dearborn.
According to Elaine Greene, Executive Director of Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, the Mutt Strut & Pet Expo is the largest gathering of pet fans in the area. She said several thousand attendees converge each year for Mutt Strut to take part in the walk, enjoy family entertainment and help raise funds for adoptable animals in the care of the shelter.
“Each year we introduce new activities to keep the day fresh and exciting for returning supporters and appeal to more new attendees as well. Mutt Strut & Pet Expo brings so many people together for fun of course, but to spotlight the joy of pet companionship and to help homeless animals,” Greene said.
Sponsored by Dearborn Family Pet Care, Mutt Strut commences with a 2.3 mile pledge-driven walk for all skill levels to leash up their dogs and strut with family and friends. The leisurely walk runs adjacent to Michigan Avenue and provides businesses a chance to showcase themselves to new visitors to the city.
During the first seven years, Mutt Strut supporters raised over $400,000 benefiting more than 15,000 rescued animals. This year, the fundraising goal is $65,000.
Participants can register in advance online; otherwise walk-up registration begins at 9:00 a.m., with ribbon cutting and the walk starting at 11:00 a.m.; activities continue to 3:00 p.m.
The expo portion is a community-wide animal celebration that features an array of free, fun activities, including:
• An array of metro Detroit Food Trucks serving gourmet street fare
• Fastest Mutt in the Midwest competition
• The Yelp.com VIP Hound Lounge for walkers who raise $300 or more
• Celebration tent with an adopted dog birthday “pawty” and meet new adoptable pets
• Former Detroit Tiger Milt Wilcox and his Ultimate Air Dogs in dock-diving competition
• K-9 Fun Run, a luring-style race for family pets to unleash their energy
• Doggie Fun Zone offering games and contests galore
• Health Zone focusing on healthy lifestyles for people and pets
• Midway of local and eco-friendly vendors with pet-related items
Mutt Strut & Pet Expo takes place at Ford Field Park in Dearborn, near Michigan Avenue and Brady street on Saturday, May 11. For more information, visit www.dearbornmuttstrut.com.