Bobby Mahoney said he’s hearing a buzz about the first annual Olde Towne Dogge Walke; and the bigger the buzz, the better the news for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, which will benefit from the funds raised by the event.
"Arlington has been having a dog walk every year, and last year it raised $83,000. That’s a lot of money, and they’ve got a lot of people in their walk," said Mahoney, a trainer at the Olde Towne School for Dogs who conceived of the walk. "D.C. does the same thing, and I think it’s time Old Town did something, for God’s sake."
The Dogge Walke is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9 from 9 – 11 a.m. Walkers will meet at the School for Dogs, 529 Oronoco St., before embarking on a 1.5 mile tour of Old Town.
"We’re going down Pendleton, through Founder’s Park along the river. Then up King Street, through the arts festival right before it opens. King Street will be blocked off, and they were very nice to let us come up there. Then back to the dog school where there’s going to be a raffle," said Mahoney.
Raffle tickets will be on sale for $2 at the school, with prizes ranging from a large gift basket filled with treats and toys to certificates for travel and other prizes.
Cost for the Dogge Walke is $20 per dog prior to the event and $25 per dog on the day of the event. The advance registration fee is $20 per person or $25 on the day of the event, and includes a free participant t-shirt and dog bandana. Registration forms are available at the Olde Towne School for Dogs 529 Oronoco St.; call 703-836-7643 for more information.
All proceeds from this event will be donated to AWLA to support animal assistance, shelter and community education programs. Visit www.alexandriaanimals.org for more on the Welfare League.
MAHONEY, WHO has been a trainer at the school for about four years, sees the Dogge Walke as a companion event to the Animal Welfare League’s other fundraisers. But he also thinks it might be a more affordable option for those pet-owners that are priced out of events like the annual Black Ties and Tales evening.
"Not everyone can do that — it’s kind of pricey," he said. "We need to do something that everyone can do, that’s going to be a lot of fun and that shows that Alexandria is really pet friendly."
Mahoney sees the event growing each year, to the point where a 1.5 mile stroll around Old Town will turn into a parade of pets — and a symbol of Alexandria’s commitment to the animal community.
"It’s important that everyone in the community get involved with this mission; to make sure that all the care is given to the animals down at the welfare league," he said.