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Animal rescue group plans Walk and Wag fundraiser

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — For those living in the eastern end of Lawrence County, the bridge at the Chesapeake Village Hall offers a quick, safe trip over the Ohio River into Huntington.

However, one night it was anything but a quick, safe trip for an abandoned mixed breed dog found there. However, it ended up becoming a bridge to a new home, thanks to the Little Victories Animal Rescue Group.

An area couple found the dog on the Chesapeake bridge and contacted the Ona, W.Va.-based rescue group asking if Little Victories would take the dog.

“(The former owners) had put her name on her collar. We know they dropped her and wanted someone to know her name,” Sue Brown, Little Victories president, said.

The small dog was taken to the farm the group runs as a halfway house for the dogs and cats they rescued. Next Brown got a call from a Chesapeake resident wanting a companion for her dog. She took her dog up to the farm and that animal immediately picked out the rescued dog as its new friend.

“We get a lot of animals from South Point and Proctorville and Chesapeake,” Brown said. “We were taking more from over there than from here.”

All rescued animals are thoroughly vetted, given all shots and heartworm tests as well as treatment for any ailments they might have. Those vet bills quickly add up and one of the fund-raisers Little Victories holds yearly to help defray medical expenses is coming up next month.

On May 2, there will be the sixth annual Walk and Wag at Ritter Park, Huntington. The event is a combination of a 5-K Run for Rescue with the actual walk.

“We’re hoping to raise $10 to $15,000,” Brown said.

That will help offset vet bills that can go as high as $4,000 a month.

Registration for the run starts at 7:30 a.m. that Saturday with the event an hour later. The run will start at Ritter Park and go to North Boulevard to the Veterans Memorial Arch and then back.

The registration fee for the run is $15 prior to April 20 and $20 after that.

The walk is a pledge-sponsored event where participants bring their dogs and walk around the perimeter of the Ritter Park. The registration fee is $18, but will be waived if pledges collected exceed the fee. Registration for the walk starts at 8:30 until 10:30 a.m.

At noon there will be a demonstration of dogs going through a special agility course set up in the park.

Little Victories is a no-kill shelter that works to adopt out all its animals. A prospective owner must fill out a two-page applications followed by a home visit by a representative from the group.

“We check references and do a home visit and any follow-up and check on them,” Brown said. “We will take them back, if anything goes wrong, even 10 years from now. We want to know these animals are safe.”

Co-chairs for the Walk and Wag are Julia Spence and Diann Nance.

Forms for the run and the walk can be downloaded by the Little Victories Web site at www.littlevictories.org.