11 May 2022

Canberra canines celebrate return of Million Paws Walk

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Million Paws Walk

The Million Paws Walk returns on 29 May. Photo: RSPCA Facebook.

Grab the lead and your four-legged friend! After two years of virtual events, RSPCA ACT invites you to the revival of the ‘paw-some’ day out, the Million Paws Walk.

The long-awaited event returns on Sunday, 29 May at the Patrick White Lawns, in front of the National Library of Australia beside Lake Burley Griffin.

Registrations are now open for the 2022 in-person walk to raise funds for animal care and the fight against animal cruelty.

RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson said it was fantastic to have the walk back on. But owners could still take part online.

“This year participants can choose the physical event or still do the virtual event,” she said.

“The world has really shifted and it’s important people have options where they can participate. If we’ve learnt anything, it’s all about choice, adaptability and flexibility. So we still wanted to have that component.

“But so many of us here in the ACT have missed the physical events. Our team is just so psyched to be having the physical event again.”

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Ms Robertson said the Million Paws Walk raised awareness and created an opportunity to shine a spotlight on animal welfare and animal cruelty, and for community members to take an active stance.

“It’s all about what we do, understanding what it means to be a responsible pet owner and what we as a society can do to contribute to stop things such as animal cruelty,” she said.

“Raising funds in the process is also great because that in turn enables us to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals.”

Sausage dogs

So far almost 500 tickets have been sold for the 2022 Million Paws Walk. Photo: RSPCA Facebook.

Ms Robertson said this year’s aim was to meet or even better the more than 3000 tickets sold for the last Million Paws Walk in 2019.

“I’m so excited for it. It’s fantastic to see so many people come together to see these big dogs, small dogs, different coloured dogs, dogs with four legs, dogs with three legs, dogs being carried, and dogs being pushed in prams,” she said.

“Seeing all the different types of dogs with their owners is like witnessing one big like-minded group of people taking an active stand and saying we love our animals and we think caring for them is really important. It’s a wonderful thing to see all of that on a big scale.”


Participants for this year’s Million Paws Walk can get involved in-person or online. Photo: RSPCA Facebook.

Ms Robertson said with few events held over the past two years, she hoped the walk would help Canberra get back to normal.

“We will have a COVID safety plan, we just want to enjoy those things we weren’t able to do and feel a sense of normality,” she said.

The event will feature a wide variety of food vendors, retail stalls with plenty of dog-related items, several animal organisations, live music and entertainment, and plenty of prizes to give away throughout the day.

“Some agility activities will also be open for participation where your dog can be challenged,” Ms Robertson said. “It’s all outside in the fresh air so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery on offer because autumn in Canberra is such a beautiful time of the year.”

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The Million Paws Walk will open from 11 am to 4 pm.

For those unable to attend the in-person event, a virtual challenge is available. All funds raised will help animals in need.

Participants registered before 15 April will go in the draw to win a Pettecc Prize Pack worth more than $2500.

To find out more and register for the in-person event or virtual challenge, visit Million Paws Walk.

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