Wiggle-Waggle Walk Benefits Humane Society

Cindy Garcia

Dogs of all sizes, colors and breeds participated in the 11th annual Wiggle Waggle Walk hosted by the Pasadena Humane Society on Sept. 26.

From curly-haired poodles and extra small chihuahuas to police trained German Shepherds and two colored eyed huskies, they all gathered in Brookside Park located south of the Pasadena Rose Bowl from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Wiggle Waggle Walk is a fundraiser that helps more than 11,000 animals each year. All the money that is raised during the walk is used to provide blankets, vaccines, food, and shelter to animals in need, said Vice President of Volunteer Service Sandy De Marco.

The fundraising goal for this year was $330,000, but the humane society raised only 76 percent of their goal with an amount of $244,859.52. De Marco thinks that the economic crisis was one of the factors why this year’s goal wasn’t reached.

“It’s not as good as it was last year because of the economy,” she said. “Some of our sponsors who normally had given us $20,000 sponsorship gave $5,000.”

De Marco also said that the emphasis of the event is to have fun, but at the same time people care for needed animals and interact with their pets.

“It’s a fundraiser, but it’s a fun-raiser for the humane society and from those aspects is always very successful,” she said.

About 200 volunteers helped out during and after the walk. For Terri Coldwell, 51, a volunteer from Pasadena, the walk has been a good and rewarding experience. “It’s been a really fun experience and it really feels good to help animals in need,” she said.

The participants had the option to go for the short way and take the one mile walk or to keep on walking three miles around the Rose Bowl.

Loreto Isabel, 20, from Redlands, drove an hour and a half with Piero, her miniature schnauzer to come to the walk.

“This has been one of the greatest experiences that I have shared with my dog, and at the same time we help our community,” she said.

Isabel chose the three mile walk despite the high temperature. “Even though it was really hot, I walked the three miles because my dog was enjoying it so much.”

After the walk the participants enjoyed the Family Fun Fair with a raffle, shows, and contests.

Some of the contests included “Best Look a Like,” “Best Trick” and “Cutest Mutt” with about 10 participants in each. The first place winner for “Best Look a Like” was Tomoko Watanabe, 42, and “Mickey,” her Labrador Retriever. Mickey was dressed up as a camel with his two cotton humps on his back. Tomoko was wearing a red silky belly dancer attired. She has won the Best Look a Like contest for two consecutive years. “We dressed up as twins last year and we’ve been participating for five years,” she said.

The Pasadena and Glendale K-9 Units were present to show their support to the Pasadena Humane Society.

“One of the big reasons that we are here today is to give back to them because they give to us,” said Pasadena Police Officer Tom Brown. “The Humane Society helps sponsor us in housing our dogs when we are in vacation and they do it at no cost.”

For the Glendale K-9 unit it was the first time in the Wiggle Waggle Walk which has been a great opportunity to interact with other people that care about dogs.

“This is fantastic,” said Glendale Officer Shawn Sholtis. “Especially when you have all the dog lovers that we have here today that can really appreciate how fun dogs are but also how they can help us.”

The Family Fun Fair also had 27 stands of vendors, sponsors, rescue organizations and clinics.

The Wiggle Waggle Walk had 28 sponsors such as Petco, PetSmart, Guess, Neutrogena, Wells Fargo, BARK ( the dog culture magazine), Heavenly Pet Resort and Jones Coffee Roasters.

Vendor stands included pet accessories such as clothes, shoes, collars and beds with a broad variety for all sizes, tastes and personalities.

There were also free dog treats, water bottles, coffee and Neutrogena products.

The Pasadena Humane Society is an independent, donor-supported, non-profit animal welfare agency. They serve the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, South Pasadena, Arcadia, San Marino and Sierra Madre.

For more information, visit www.pasadenahumane.org.