Dogs of all breeds, along with their owners, walked around Greenville’s Town Common for the greater good of animal protection as the 18th annual Canine Crawl took place Saturday.
Hosted by the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina, this year’s Canine Crawl had a one mile walk where owners could walk with their dogs and event spectators could sponsor each dog to raise money for the Humane Society. In addition to the one-mile sponsored dog walk fundraiser, the event also featured food trucks, live music, vendors selling pet merchandise, a dog wedding and a dog wash.
The Canine Crawl began in the early 2000’s, according to Shelby Jolly, the assistant shelter director of the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina. Jolly said the inaugural Canine Crawl began as a “strut-your-mutt walk and run with just vendors.” Jolly says this year’s Canine Crawl shows the growth of what the fundraising event has now become.
“This year, the vendors (for the 18th annual Canine Crawl) were geared towards dogs and felines,” Jolly said. “We have also had food trucks and live music for attendees to enjoy.”
The vendors present at this year’s Canine Crawl had merchandise for the canine community which included pet food, collars, toys and more. At the event, dogs also could recieve free gift bags which contained treats and toys.
One of the many vendors at Saturday’s Canine Crawl was Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter, which brought dogs available for adoption for attendees to play with and potentially adopt. Two of the dogs brought by the Friends of the Pitt County Animal shelter were a mutt named Gorgeous and a puppy named Komere.
The two dogs stood out and differed in both physical appearance and personal background, as Gorgeous had one brown eye and one blue eye while Komere was a playful, black puppy who was found abandoned in a parking lot.
Sherry Sheldon, a staff member who works for Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter, said the shelter is giving Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter animals that may not last long in shelters “a chance at life with a loving family.”
“We brought animals that may not last in the animal shelters,” Sheldon said. “They (the animals in the shelter) may have health issues such as heartworm, punctured eyes or broken legs.”
This year’s Canine Crawl also had a dog wash, which served as a fundraiser as proceeds made from the washed dogs were donated to the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina. Jolly said the dog wash fundraiser was “a new thing” for Saturday’s event.
“The last two Canine Crawls didn’t have a dog wash. We host dog washes all throughout Greenville mostly in the summer,” Jolly said. “People can find more out about dog washes on the Humane Society’s website. All dogs must have a rabies certificate in order to attend the dog wash.”
Many attendees at this year’s Canine Crawl, according to Jolly, adopted their dogs from the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina. Two of this year’s Canine Crawl attendees, Lindsey Greene and Gracie Parrott, cited their dog adoptions as the reasons for attending this year’s event.
“I adopted my dog, Riggs, from the Humane Society,” Greene said. “That’s the reason I wanted to come out and support this event.”
Parrott echoed Greene’s sentiment, calling the cause behind the Canine Crawl “an important one.”
“It’s important to support the Humane Society and love on pups,” Parrott, a senior nursing major at East Carolina University, said.
Jolly said The Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina host fundraisers twice a year, so anyone who is interested in supporting the cause of the organization always has an opportunity to attend.
“We had a fundraiser (every) April (called) Night to Paws and in October, we have the annual Canine Crawl. We have a big event every six months,” Jolly said.
To donate in-person during the Humane Society's open hours, those interested can come into the on-site Greenville location on specified days during the week, which are Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina is located at 3520 Tupper Drive in Greenville. For more information about the organization’s work and upcoming event, call (252) 413-7247 visit The Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina’s official website.