RSPCA’s famous Million Paws Walk has gone virtual, with dog owners encouraged to instead fundraise by challenging themselves to exercise their dog for 30 minutes a day throughout May. Here’s how it’s going to work.

If you and your pooch want to get involved, sign up free for Million Paws Walk: Walk This May on the RSPCA website here to create your personal fundraising page, where you can publicly log your pet’s daily exercise. Make sure you share your fundraiser with your friends and family to encourage donations, which will go straight to the RSPCA. Then, get walking! Your fur baby and the thousands of pets in need of care from the RSPCA will love you for it.

Although it won’t be judged by applause this year, the popular Vetwest Pet Parade will still go ahead on the RSPCA WA Facebook group. Each week of May, RSPCA will post one of the categories: Best Smile, Cutest Dog, Look-a-Like (pets who look the most like their owner) and Best Trick. To enter, comment a photo or video of your pooch on their post, with winners chosen by a public vote on a Facebook Poll. Prizes will include a 12-month Vetwest wellness plan (valued at $790), a personalised doggy bed and a professional pet photoshoot, to be used when this COVID-19 business is over, of course. 

Funds raised from Million Paws Walk: Walk This May will be used in three main areas: to keep inspectors on the road to investigate claims of animal cruelty, to keep their vet surgery open to give vital treatment to neglected animals and to keep their shelter open for animals in need of a home. We spoke to Richard Schoonraad of RSPCA WA, who told us that rehoming can be a difficult task, 

“Some animals might come from abusive homes where they have been treated badly. So, we put them on a behavioural training program to desensitise to their triggers and work through their anxieties before we rehome them”

Ken Doran, RSPCA WA’s Head of Fundraising said it’s best to sign up by this Friday, May 1, as the RSPCA’s National Nutrition Sponsor will be matching the first $100,000 of donations made that day. Plus, it’s all a bit of fun,

“Everyone loves sharing photos and videos of their pets – and in a time when our news feeds are overrun with COVID-19, cute animal snaps can be a welcome and heart-warming distraction”

The charity walk typically attracts 5000 pooch owners and raises hundreds of thousands each year. It’s hoped that if as many people sign up for the virtual version, the RSPCA will be able to raise the necessary funds to allow them to continue to work tirelessly to keep our animals safe.

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