Guardian Animal to have 5K for animals

Published 5:46 am Saturday, April 17, 2021

One month to go!

Guardian Animal Medical Center is hosting a 5K run and 1-mile dog walk on Saturday, May 22.
We missed it last year because of COVID-19 and will have precautions in place this year. This will be our fifth year.
We decided at our roles and goals meeting at the New Year that it would be an annual thing.
As an aside, I might even complete one this year again. Several staff members thought that was a good idea and said they would come with me. We’ll see.
When the talk of celebrating Guardian Animal’s twenty-fifth anniversary came up, a 5K was mentioned. We wanted to do something big and a 5K is big!
After a couple of weeks, it was still being bounced around and we decided to do it! A few moments later, we realized that we had never done anything like this before.
The cause was easy.
In addition to the race helping with community fitness, our 501C charitable trust fund is empty. All proceeds will support our Guardian Angel fund for strays, rescues, wildlife and owner assistance for special cases.
This year, we have our eyes set on a new flight cage. The one we have is great for my falconry birds, but not as good for wild birds. A larger flight cage will allow for raptors to be stronger faster.
We will have to do things a little different to stay socially distanced and safe. You can participate virtually if you prefer.
Stay tuned, we plan to have some really big door prizes for participants, donors and volunteers! We hope door prizes get up the donations for the flight cage.
We looked at the other races that were scheduled and are going back to our first race time.
We wanted a time around our anniversary, but that could be any of four weekends.
May 22 did not have other races locally and no other dog races and was the weekend before our anniversary week. It was perfect!
Our race is the Guardian Angel 5K and 1 mile Paw Walk. The route was a little tougher. A flat course for the dogs was considered mandatory for pet walking. I want all the dogs to be safe, so it will be a fun walk without times. I still have to set up for emergency coverage for pets during the walk.
We wanted to start and end at Guardian Animal for parking and set up.
Several meetings with the Flatwoods police and Google maps and we had the Flatwoods portion approved.
Both will start at GAMC, loop around back streets to Bellefonte Road and up to the city park. Runners will run around the park and parking lot, but dogs (and owners) will only be in the parking lot.
All will head back to GAMC with the 1 mile walk ending at GAMC.
The 5K runners will continue down the hill, and then return up the hill to finish. The Russell portion was approved at a city council meeting already.
As things are finalized, we will know how many volunteers we need. And we still have to borrow or rent cones to mark the route.
Our event insurance and the awards are already here. Trophies for first overall woman and man look good.
First three places (male and female) in each of the other divisions will get a medal.
Together, the 36 medals and two trophies really look sharp.
I will guide the T-shirt design. We want a wing design with paw prints on red shirts. They look good.
Working with the designer meant that we got a better design than either of us alone would have done.
This design was slightly modified for the dog bandannas and they are on order. The registered dogs will get a race bandana.
Erika has taken most of the lead on getting things done. She has contacted our vendors for goodie bag support and has some exciting things coming. She is even working with a volunteer on some wagon raffles for the race. The race is coming together.
Thirty years ago, equipment, supplies and walls were starting to come together as I was getting ready to open Guardian Animal Emergency Clinic.
Two years later it would become Guardian Animal Hospital. 19 years after opening, we would move to Flatwoods and become Guardian Animal Medical Center.
Every step of the way, we would be helped by others, learn a lot and do a better job.
I love that we can do something special and something big for our anniversary and continue to give back.
We, and I, look forward to the preparation of the next six months and the lives that we will save.
It is an exciting time at Guardian Animal!

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. 606-928-6566.

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