Virtual Big Paws – 2020
Humane Society cancels biggest event of the year.
Big Paws will move to a virtual event in light of COVID
Kingston, ON – July 16, 2020
The Kingston Humane Society (KHS) had big plans for Big Paws 2020. Working with the City of Kingston, KHS staff were excited at prospect of moving their largest and most anticipated fundraiser of the year to City Park after many successful years at Lake Ontario Park. Unfortunately, with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the decision has been made to cancel the event and transition to a virtual fundraising walk.
“This is another in a series of heartbreaking changes we’ve been forced to make,” said Executive Director Gord Hunter. “We just can’t take the chance that participants, volunteers, staff or vendors might unwittingly transmit the virus or get sick by taking part in Big Paws.”
In its place, the KHS has decided to launch a virtual Big Paws walk that will last from September 15-October15. “Since the pandemic was declared in March, so many people have begun taking long walks with their pets as a way to get some fresh air and exercise,” noted Hunter. “With the popularity of devices that track your steps and activity, we’ve decided that we can use that concept to encourage people to take a walk for our animals and for Big Paws.”
The KHS will launch a web page that will allow people to upload their pet walks and compete for draw prizes while raising money to assist with their mandate; to shelter, feed, and treat the abused, neglected and abandoned animals in Kingston and surrounding communities. Like so many organizations, the Kingston Humane Society is struggling to replace a number of events that have been cancelled since the outbreak of COVID. Along with the cancellation of Big Paws, they have been forced to cancel Bowl for the Animals, Unleash the Treats and the annual spring online auction was rescheduled to July. The result is a forecasted loss for 2020 of more than $100,000 in funds that would have been raised at public events.
Details of the Big Paws Virtual Walk will be released within the next few weeks with registrations beginning later in August.
While this year has proven to be more difficult than anyone could have envisioned, the challenge of reimagining events in a virtual/digital world gives the KHS an opportunity to expose a larger population to their innovative animal programs, enrichment initiatives, and success stories.
The KHS is committed to advocating for and improving the lives of animals within our community. Founded in 1884, the KHS continues to provide shelter and care for homeless animals in Kingston and surrounding communities. We promote responsible pet ownership and compassion and respect for all animals. In addition, we work in and with our community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray or homeless.
Gord Hunter, Executive Director KHS, 613-546-1291 ext 105