Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dogs and friends walk in park for a good cause

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Lindsay Wiltshire traded birthday candles for dog leashes Sunday at Assiniboine Park during Paws in Motion, the Winnipeg Humane Society's biggest annual fundraiser.

More than 2,000 people brought their four-legged friends for the 1.5-kilometre and three-kilometre walk in the park to raise money for the humane society's spay-and-neuter program.

 

Wiltshire doesn't own a dog, but that didn't stop her from coming out to show her support.

"I live in an apartment, and we're not allowed to have animals," she said. "It's my birthday, and I wanted to come down because I love animals."

Wiltshire spent the morning with Carl, her grandmother's dog. But she said it wasn't easy getting the cocker spaniel mix out of her grandmother's house.

Wiltshire's grandmother adopted Carl from the humane society in 2009 after her husband passed away.

"She needed a companion, and he sleeps in my grandpa's chair," said the 25-year-old. "She sat in the chair once since he passed away, and ever since then, it's been Carl's chair."

Wiltshire believes Carl has been a great friend to her grandmother but has kept her busy.

"Carl will dig up the garden and grandma will replant it," she said.

Wiltshire's sister and brother-in-law, Courtenay and Dave Winnemuller, came along for the walk, too.

The Winnemullers brought their dog, MacLaren, named after the pub in How I Met your Mother, to keep Carl company.

The couple has always had a soft spot for animals.

"We like to go to the humane society any old day just to hang out with the cats," Courtenay said.

This isn't the first time the couple has raised money for their furry friends. The newlyweds raised $350 at their wedding for the humane society in January.

"Instead of clanging glasses, we would kiss every time someone would make a donation," said Dave Winnemuller.

This year, the humane society's Paws in Motion raised more than $240,000, up from $234,000 a year ago. The walk has raised $2.5 million in the past 10 years.

Last year, more than 6,000 animals were spayed and neutered due to the money that was raised at Paws in Motion.

"We can't thank the community enough. It's very humbling," said Christine Boult, director of development at the Winnipeg Humane Society.

Tessa Wilderman also came out to show her support for the cause. Wilderman took a trip into Winnipeg from her farm in Howden, Man., with her Italian greyhound.

"His name is Joey, like Joey Tribbiani from Friends," she said. "He's Italian, he's pretty, but not the smartest."

Wilderman rescued Joey from the humane society 21/2 years ago.

"We have a lot of animals on the farm," she said. "But he's a very special dog."

elizabeth.fraser@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 24, 2013 B1

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