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Dog Jog raises more than $29,000 for homeless animals

September 16, 2008 By Tania Banak

Despite chilly temperatures and drizzle, hundreds of dog owners raced to benefit homeless animals during the 25th annual Dog Jog on Sept. 14.

“More than $29,000 was raised to benefit area humane organizations,” says Linda Sullivan, an instructor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine who helps coordinate Dog Jog each year.

Top pledge collectors were the Nelson family (Dave, Patty, Alexa and Kylie), of Stoughton, Wis., with their three dogs, Rex, RJ and Hula. They raised more than $2,000 in pledges.

“We really believe in this,” the family says. They have been top pledge collectors for the event for many years.

In second place was Beth Viney, with her dogs Tzar, Osa and Tundra. Topf Wells and his dog, Rosie, were third-place fundraisers for the event.

Dog Jog proceeds benefit humane organizations that participate in the veterinary school’s Cooperative Shelter Spay/Neuter Program for shelter pets or that participate in other school activities that directly benefit sheltered animals. This year’s beneficiaries included Angel’s Wish (Dane County), Country Animal Haven, Dane County Humane Society, Iowa County Humane Society, Humane Society of Jefferson County, Sauk County Humane Society, Washington County Humane Society and Watertown Humane Society (Jefferson County).

The top pledge winner received a gift certificate for a photo session with Dramatic Paws Animal Photography. The top 20 pledge collectors received goody bags filled with dog treats and toys. Winners of each category received a medal. Culligan Total Water provided bottled water to keep dogs (and people) hydrated after the race. John Urban served as emcee.

Knupp & Watson Advertising designed the poster and handled publicity, including placement of public-service announcements with area television and radio stations. Haggar Audio helped with the TV spots, and Isthmus and The Onion donated ad space.

Merial Ltd. helped support the event financially. And veterinary medical students in the Companion Animal Club, along with assistance from area humane organizations, organized the event itself.

Out of approximately 800 participants, John Noll and his dog, Blue, were the overall race winners. He was also first place in the men’s category. First-place woman was Meghan Krueger with Bella. First-place girl was Elena Thompson and Nellie. First-place boy was Grant McAndrew and Alex. Winner of the costume contest was Ruthanne Nelson with her dogs, Mack and Ruby, dressed as the big bad wolf and little piglets.

Dog Jog is an annual two-mile run/walk sponsored by the School of Veterinary Medicine to benefit homeless animals.