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Animal lovers uniting to 'Walk for Pets' in Collingwood

Mel Pockaj of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society holds a cat on Fri. June 2, 2023 (Chris Garry/CTV News Barrie) Mel Pockaj of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society holds a cat on Fri. June 2, 2023 (Chris Garry/CTV News Barrie)

Animal lovers will unite alongside their furry friends for a cause very close to their hearts later this month.

The Georgian Triangle Humane Society (GTHS) is preparing for its 11th annual Walk for Pets. The fundraiser brings in about 10 per cent of the organization's yearly fundraising targets and is a critical way to spread awareness in the community.

"This team really knows how to put the fun in fundraising," said Mel Pockaj, the senior philanthropy manager for GTHS. "People really enjoy coming out and being part of a community. I think that our pets get FOMO if they aren't joining us too!"

The goal this year is $120,000. Funds raised will go towards supporting day-to-day operations at GTHS as well as its fully accredited animal hospital.

Every year the organization performs over 2500 spay and neuter surgeries. This work wouldn't be possible without the community's support through fundraisers like the Walk for Pets, says Pockaj.

"I think even those that haven't interacted with the Georgian Triangle Humane Society, they really see in the big picture the work that we're doing to keep our communities healthy and safe and to serve the people and pets that they consider their neighbours," said Pockaj.

This year's walk comes at a time when rising living costs have meant the services at GTHS are needed now more than ever.

"Certainly, the demand for our services is growing by the day both because of the increase in population in our communities, our growing communities mean a growing number of pets, and also our communities are facing increased financial challenges," said Pockaj. "We see a shortage of access to affordable vet care."

Anyone wanting to donate to GTHS can do so online, where there is also a wish list of the most needed items.

The event kicks off on June. 17 at 11 a.m. at the Collingwood Brewery. Leashed pets are welcome as well.

Participants can also register online and do the walk on their own time.

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