The Boyertown Area Times
BERKS PARK GOES TO THE DOGS
Humane Pennsylvania’s Walk for the Animals
Life hasn’t always been kind to Yogi, but on Saturday, May 6, he was living it up.
Yogi, a Pomeranian mix, trotted calmly beside his foster siblings, Pomeranians Maggie, Molly and Rocky during the 46th Annual Walk for the Animals at Jim Dietrich Park in Muhlenberg Township.
It wasn’t long ago that Yogi was wandering the streets of Reading, alone and abandoned by his owner.
Things are different these days — Yogi now enjoys the lap of canine luxury, according to foster owners Alice and Glen Buchman of Reading, who took Yogi off the streets and cared for him before he was adopted.
“They threw an adoption party for him,” Glen Buchman said of Yogi’s new owners. “They gave him treats. He has his own seat in their truck now.”
Yogi still gets to walk with his preferred pack of Pomeranians nearly every day, Buchman said, and Saturday was no different.
The dogs’ pawprints added to
the hundreds of four-legged indents now dotting a path that stretches pleasantly beside the Schuylkill River thanks to Saturday’s Walk for the Animals fundraiser.
Saturday’s walk is estimated to generate about $75,000 to benefit dogs like Yogi, said Karel Minor, president and CEO of Humane Pennsylvania, which organized the event.
He said the bulk of that money would go to funding veterinary services offered at the nonprofit’s weekly “pay what you can” veterinary clinics.
Other Humane Pennsylvania initiatives that will benefit include walk in wellness clinics that offer services like vaccines and X-rays, and emergency assistance for pet owners, Minor said.
Nearly two dozen sponsors, including Performance Toyota, helped cover the costs of holding the event, according to Minor.
He said the event was slated to have about 500 participants this year.
Resting in the shade of the pine trees was Jake, an 8-year-old pug. The dog needed a breather after making the trip around the park.
“He did well,” owner Tracy Miller said. “He’s a social butterfly.”
The event also featured music from Dibbs and the Detonators and a VIP beer and wine garden with selections from Chatty Monks Brewing Company, Willow Creek Brewing Company and Lucky Leprechaun Vineyard & Winery.
Sprawled out on the grass was Jameson, a golden retriever mix celebrating fourth birthday with his furry pal Mojo, and Schuylkill Valley High School juniors Brooke Shellhammer and Hannah Eyrich — both members of the school’s Welfare of Animals Group.
Mojo and Jameson were rescued from puppy mills where they were forced to breed, according to owner Michelle Conway.
Conway said prospective pet owners should avoid buying from mills and look toward adoption instead.
As Conway spoke, a goofy grin spread across Jameson’s face, and the dog flopped into Shellhammer’s lap.
“You’re a little big for a lapdog,” owner Tim Conway joked.
Michelle Conway said one trait dog owners share is kindness.
“My dog only trusts people with dogs,” Conway said. “They tend to be good people.”
Minor said dogs bring people together in a way that transcends politics and other areas of division.
“The most common thing in America, more than politics or religion or anything else, is having pets,” Minor said. “People like dogs, if you like one dog, you’re going to want to check out other people’s dogs … it’s a reminder
that everybody is fundamentally the same.”
Saturday’s event is evidence of the unity that dogs promote, Minor said.
“All these dogs, it should be a disaster, biting and fighting,” Minor said. “But it doesn’t have to be. We never have problems. There are so many dogs, and it’s just nice.”