Woofing good time for animal welfare

The fifth annual Woof-a-Thon proved once again that dogs do indeed have a special day and a special place in Ocean Shores.

Dozens of dogs, their friends and family gathered at North Bay Park on Saturday to raise funds, awareness and just plain enjoy the company and companionship of our canines of all breeds and sizes.

Last year, $12,000 was raised for the beneficiaries, and this year’s totals are just now starting to be tallied. Early reports were that the crowds were just as big as previous years, with the highlight being the two-mile dog walk through the local neighborhood.

Beneficiary charities were the Ocean Shores Food Bank, Harbor Rescue, PAWS of Grays Harbor and North Beach PAWS. Sponsors include Seabrook Foundation, Raintree Veterinary Clinic, Harley Charitable Giving and Levee Feed. The Dennis Co. also donated many items for the dogs.

Highlights of the day include the shared stories section where a number of the participants told stories and shared information. North Beach PAWS founder Lorna Valdez paid tribute to Woof-a-Thon founder Wilma Spike.

“I want to thank Wilma and the Woof-a-Thon committee for allowing us to be one of the beneficiaries,” Valdez said. “This is absolutely awesome and God bless this crowd for being here and helping us to help all of these animals.”

Spike thanked all those who participated, noting the most important aspect was to put on a fund-raising event where everyone has fun.

“It was just a great time for everybody who was there,” she said. “Everybody was smiling and more and more people are going on the walk. It’s just a great day of fun. We haven’t had a dog fight yet.”

Combined with other fund-raising events throughout the year, the Woof-a-Thon expects to disburse another $10,000 for the beneficiaries this year