New challenge for Million Paws Walk

RSPCA Tasmania has issued a new challenge to Tasmania’s dog owners to walk a million paws with their pets in just one month in the lead up to this year’s 22nd annual Million Paws Walk, held nationally on Sunday 21 May.

The new Million Paws Walk Challenge, launched on 20 April, allows participants to set their own fitness and fundraising goals over the weeks leading up to the event.

RSPCA Tasmania chief executive officer Peter West said the challenge was a novel way to introduce a slightly competitive element to the popular annual event and was a “wonderful way” for people who couldn’t attend the physical walks on the day to get involved.

He said RSPCA Tasmania hoped to attract a record number of walkers around the state.

“With the weather hopefully on our side this year, our Million Paws Walks look set to be the biggest yet in Tasmania,” he said.

“With luck, we will see around 3,500 people and 14,000 paws pounding the pavements around the state.”

An army of more than 100 volunteers is now gearing up to help run the statewide events.

The Hobart event will once again have a seaside flavour, being held at the Long Beach Reserve in Lower Sandy Bay.

The venue has been a popular choice for participants in the past two events and will again feature two official walks with beach components.

“We are calling on the community to join us in celebrating the health benefits of having a dog by taking the challenge or registering for the walks either online or on the day,” Mr West said.

Million Paws Walk is RSPCA Tasmania’s biggest annual fundraising event, raising funds critical to the continued operation of its three animal care centres, community engagement activities, advocacy work and the vital Animal Inspectorate team, which deals with around 3000 calls to the Animal Cruelty Hotline each year.

The Hobart Million Paws Walk will start at 11am on Sunday 21 May, with on-site registration commencing from 10am.

To register for the event, visit millionpawswalk.com.au.

Caption: Marcus Pringle-Jones, his dog Molly and RSPCA president Alexandra Garrott participating in the 2016 RSPCA Million Paws Walk in Sandy Bay.