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Maureen McMullen, Published September 14 2013

Dog lovers brave rain to raise funds, awareness

FARGO – Rain wasn’t enough to stop local dog lovers and their canine companions from walking in the 23rd annual PAWS Walk Stride for Strays on Saturday at Lindenwood Park.

About 150 to 200 people showed up with their dogs to participate in the walk,

The walk’s purpose was to raise funds and awareness for the Humane Society Fargo-Moorhead. This year’s goal was to raise $55,000. By the time the walk ended, $47,000 had been raised.

Jordahl Custom Homes was this year’s title sponsor. The company pledged to match every $75 dollars donated up to $15,000. Other sponsors included Natural Pet Center, West Fargo Animal Hospital and Bremer Bank.

The walk was led by its honorary grand marshal, Rudy the Rescue Dog, who stayed in the shelter before he was adopted.

“He is proudly representing shelter animals everywhere,” said Heather Klefstad, special events and public relations coordinator for the Human Society.

The event is also an opportunity for the shelter to introduce pets available for adoption.

Several pet-friendly vendors set up booths at the event, such as Hot Dog Pet Salon, Almost Home Doggy Daycare and Doggy Depot.

Kleftstad said she felt confident they would meet their goal of $55,000, with more than $34,000 donated before the event and online donations streaming in throughout the day.

“We really rely on the community to keep our doors open. We don’t get funding or anything from any national organization,” said Klefstad. “All of these funds go directly to the animals in the shelter for their food, shelter, veterinary care, spaying and neutering. It’s all going to the animals.”