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Sacramento Oracle

Dogs Take the Lead and Support SPCA

Apr 30, 2024 01:21PM ● By Kristina Rogers, photos by Kristina Rogers
Participants — children, adults and canines — participate in this year’s Doggy Dash at William Land Park.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On April 20, Sacramento let the dogs out to participate in the 31st Annual SPCA Doggy Dash. Over 2,000 people and their canine companions went to William Land Park to enjoy the sunny Saturday. Dogs and their people registered for either a 5k or 2k run in the tree-filled park. Some pooches ran alongside their owners, while less athletic and senior dogs enjoyed the view from a wagon or stroller.

stroller ride Doggie Dash

 Some dogs got a stroller ride at the Doggie Dash.

The pet festival was a vibrant hub of activity, with over 100 vendors offering a diverse range of services. From pet daycare and veterinary care to dog training, there was something for every pet owner. Posh services included pup boutiques, “barkcuterie boards” and pet portraits.

Doggie Dash backpack cool

 This dog had it cool, and easy, taking part in the Doggie Dash festivities in the backpack of its owner.

Professionals of the four-legged variety were also represented. Officers from Sacramento’s Police Canine Association brought their working dogs for photos, and provided information about the program. Several rescue organizations were also present, advocating for specific breeds such as corgis, basset hounds, German Shepards, malemutes and golden retrievers. Mixed breed rescues like Resilient Dog Rescue brought in adoptable dogs, adding an opportunity to find a forever home by the end of the day.

Many dogs arrived in tutus and outfits to win in the best-dressed arena. There were also contests for the most enthusiastic tail wag and best kisser. And other pups competed in a doggy peanut butter eating contest. Obstacle courses and plastic pools were spread around the area so every dog could burn their energy and cool off. Humans had a chance to grab lunch at a food truck and enjoy some downtime at The Watering Bowl, a VIP beer, wine, and cocktail garden.

Doggie Dash tutu dogs

 Some dogs wore tutus in an attempt to be best-dressed at the Doggie Dash.

Dawn Foster, SPCA director for marketing and communications, expressed the significance of the Doggy Dash event, stating, “This is not just a fun event, it’s a community effort. All the money raised today stays right here in the Sacramento community, directly benefiting over 40,000 animals every year.” The funds raised help to off-set costs for spay/neuter, vaccines, surrender intake and adoptions. There are also educational programs and affordable options for senior pet owners and low-income families. This includes a pet food pantry, a lifeline for owners and their pets during difficult financial times. While the event was focused on dogs, the organization also offers services for cats, such as funding a feral/community cat program that helps to maintain healthy feline colonies in specific areas.

Dawn Foster SPCA director of marketing and communication

 Dawn Foster, SPCA director of marketing and communication, is on the left, with the ears.

As of this article, the Doggy Dash had earned over $200,000 in registration fees. The money is still being tallied from the beer garden and food truck proceeds. To learn more about the SPCA, and to get involved, go to their website at