Second chances: Humane Society’s Woofstock Survivor 5K supports lifesaving care

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The Humane Society for Hamilton County’s Survivor Program is dependent on donations.

“That’s why we have to continue to do events like Woofstock, even in a pandemic,” said Max Williams, marketing director for Noblesville-based Humane Society for Hamilton County. “We just have to go the extra mile to make sure it’s safe. We are following all Fishers and state COVID-19 guidelines. Without this event, we cannot afford to pay for the animals that are part of the survival program.”

The 12th Annual Woofstock Survivor 5K and Dog Walk is set for 8 a.m. Aug. 29 at Four Day Ray Brewing, 11671 Lantern Rd., in Fishers.

Woofstock, sponsored by Canine Cloud Nine and Cosmo’s Superior Foods, raises funds for animals in need of care. The goal is to raise $40,000. As of Aug. 9, more than $6,300 has been raised.

“Not only does the Survivor Program fund necessary medical care, it also funds the costs associated with saving animals from surrounding shelters at risk for euthanasia, 279 lives in 2019 alone, to be exact,” said Williams, a Lawrence resident. “Each year, the program impacts the lives of over 1,300 animals, approximately 42 percent of the cats and dogs in our care.

“We’ve seen some pigs, birds and guinea pigs brought in, but mostly dogs and cats. We do take care of those animals as well.”

Megan Bousley, Humane Society of Hamilton County marketing communications manager, said the Survivor Program is in need more than it ever has been.

“Animals still need us. They are still looking for their second chances,” Bousley said. “They are still looking for their forever homes and they are coming to us with broken legs and pneumonia. We’re getting animals from severe abuse and neglect cases.”

Williams said event organizers have worked with the Fishers Health Dept. to develop a comprehensive plan for safety for supporters, volunteers and staff.

“Everyone will have to wear a mask up until the time they run,” Williams said. “We will be providing masks, too, in case anyone shows up without one.”

Runners will be sent out in smaller groups of 25 or less. There will be hand sanitizing and hand-washing stations throughout the course.

“We usually have those things, but we will go above and beyond and have quite a few more,” Williams said.

All the staff and volunteers will be checked for symptoms and temperatures before the race.

“We had to make some changes, unfortunately, that were moneymakers for us. We are getting rid of the festival vendor-type part of the event to cut down on people congregating in groups,” Williams said. “We won’t have the music and all the vendors we normally would. We’ll have a few vendors but they will be spaced out.”

Williams said walkers, some with dogs and some without, will be sent out last in small groups. Walkers will be asked to wear masks.

“We usually ask the dog walkers to space out, anyway, because all dogs don’t get along,” he said.

A virtual run will be offered this year for people who want to donate but prefer to participate from home.

“They can run on a treadmill, they can run in their neighborhood,” Williams said. “It’s a little bit cheaper and they still get the medal and the T-shirt.”

In the past, there have been 400 to 500 runners. The number of walkers varies. It has been as high as 600.

“We won’t have that many this year due to COVID. That’s why we are pushing the virtual so heavily,” he said. “We’re taking every precaution to not have a thousand people show up and still be able to fundraise.”

If you go

What: The 12th Annual Woofstock Survivor 5K and Dog Walk is set to begin at 8 a.m. Aug. 29 at Four Day Ray Brewing, 11671 Lantern Rd., in Fishers.

Registration: Starts at 6 a.m., registration packet will be sealed in a bag, in contrast to collecting individual items.

VIP: The VIP breakfast, hosted at Four Day Ray, will be boxed along with a $10 Four Day Ray gift card and drink ticket for a specialty cocktail to use that day.

Additional sponsors: Brown-Forman, Curran Architecture, Meyer Najem, Four Day Ray, Current Publishing Inc., Centier Bank, Noah’s Animal Hospitals, YogaSix, Tito’s Vodka, WJJK and WFMS.

More information: WoofstockRocks.com


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