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WEST CALN — There were barks aplenty at Hibernia Park Sunday morning as the Chester County SPCA held its 28th Walk for Paws.
Though the walk is celebrating 28 years, the SPCA has been working to bring new features to the day-long event.
“This year, we added a 5K to the event, which was held before the walk,” said Micaela Malloy, the development manager at the SPCA. “There were a bunch of dogs in the run and they said it was great. They had a good time. We also gave out awards before the walk started.”
There were close to 90 people pre-registered for the 5K with more showing up as walk-ons.
Though the number may not have been as big as it could have been due to a large accident on the route to Hibernia, causing people to be delayed.
Other events are going on throughout the day as well to keep people — and pets — entertained.
“There is a K-9 demo by the West Caln Police Department with their dogs,” Malloy said. “We have agility where people can test out their agility with their own dogs. There will be a K-9 contest later to win prizes, such as biggest ears, smallest dog, biggest dog and best dog trick. We also have a yoga session.
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“We’re trying to make it more of a community event with health and wellness opposed to just people with dogs.”
But the main event has been and always will be the Walk for Paws, which kicked off at 10 a.m.
“We are always working around the walk and adding to that,” Malloy said. “The walk is set up into three different trails: half a mile, a mile and a mile and a half, depending on how much you want to do. There is a scavenger hunt throughout you can do during the walk.”
Tents from dog-related rescue places and stores were set up for parents of the four-legged companions to check out.
All money raised from the day goes directly back to the SPCA.
“It goes right back into the services and programs we provide to the animals in our shelter,” Malloy said.
The best part for SPCA organizers was seeing some recognizable furry faces.
“Next year, I’d like to do an alumni parade because I’m seeing a lot of shelter dogs here that have been adopted,” Malloy said. “I’d like to do something for them next year.”
All-in-all, the day is full of fun for dogs and their owners and a tradition the SPCA wants to keep doing.
“It’s a great day for everybody to come hang out,” Malloy said. “It’s nice to have an event you can bring your dogs to. They really are part of the family. It’s fun for the kids as well. It’s just a nice day and luckily, people have told me they have gone years without it raining. I don’t know how that’s possible, but we seem to always get good weather.”