Diamonds in the Ruff: Walk Your Paws raises money for the Humane Society of Parkersburg | News, Sports, Jobs

Adopted from a local shelter at 6 months old, Teddy, now 16, frequently joins Walk Your Paws festivities for the Humane Society of Parkersburg, as he did in City Park on Saturday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Clouds eased the heat but held off the rain for the Humane Society of Parkersburg’s annual fundraiser in City Park on Saturday.

The 29th annual Elinor K. Ross Walk Your Paws event drew more people than last year, said HSOP executive director Gary McIntyre. At one point it counted over 170 between guests, vendors and volunteers and staff, but people came and went throughout the four hour period.

“I think everyone who was there had a great time. It was a good time,” McIntyre said. “There were a drop or two of rain just as we were putting the last things away.”

The event is the animal shelter “major operational fundraising event”, and that edition raised about $25,000 through sponsorships, vendor fees, raffles, concessions and walker-raised donations, McIntyre said.

Walking his Great Dane Arlo through the park on Saturday, humanitarian worker Dan Hendrickson said he loved seeing the dogs that were adopted from the shelter on the walk each year.

Humane Society of Parkersburg Humane Officer Dan Hendrickson, left, and his Great Dane, Arlo, greet Catie Brandyberry and her Shih-Tzu, Sebastian, during the Walk Your Paws event Saturday at City Park in Parkersburg. The annual event is the local Humane Society’s main operational fundraiser for the year. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

One of those who returned was June, a 5-year-old Jack Russell mix who was fostered and then adopted by Parkersburg resident Kay Santer.

“I just like being around other people who also love their animals,” Santer said. “It’s a fun event that helps raise money for the shelter.

Vienna resident Katie Vickers came with her 16-year-old terrier mix, Teddy.

“I brought him here for years,” Vickers said. “I adopted him from the Humane Society in 2006.”

Several vendors were selling dog toys and related items, but there was also other merchandise to sample. The GFWC Parkersburg Woman’s Club set up a table to distribute free dog-themed books to children.

Pit bull Bumblebee is ready for his close-up at the 29th Annual Walk Your Paws fundraiser for the Humane Society of Parkersburg on Saturday at City Park. Bumblebee was among the shelter dogs at the event. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

“We encourage reading by asking children to read books to their pets,” said club member Jane Hardman.

According to the flyers distributed by the club, children can feel more comfortable reading to an animal, which will simply listen to them rather than judge them.

Live music was offered at the event for the first time in several years. Jim Forshey played the role of Elvis Presley in line with the 50s theme, “Bark and roll.”

Vaccinations were offered, and 82 dogs received injections, McIntyre said.

It was also an opportunity to introduce some of the dogs up for adoption at the shelter.

The walking portion of the 29th annual Elinor K. Ross Walk Your Paws fundraiser for the Humane Society of Parkersburg begins Saturday morning in City Park, with shelter dogs Bentley, left, and Petey accompanied by the kennel technology advisor / adoption Katelyn York and Sterling Jones kennel technology, respectively. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

McIntyre said the shelter has seen an increase in adoptions over the past 10 days.

“We had over 50 adoptions, which is great because our shelter was over capacity,” he said.

When this happens, the shelter must still accommodate strays as part of its contract with Wood County. But they may have to turn down owner buyouts, which McIntyre says isn’t good because people bring pets for a reason.

The shelter at 29th and Poplar streets in Parkersburg is open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Low-cost vaccination clinics are offered monthly.

More information is available by visiting the Humane Society of Parkersburg’s Facebook page or website,, or by calling 304-422-5541.

Evan Bevins can be contacted at [email protected]

Erica Lonas, right, with local belly dance troupe Jewels of the Valley, does the Twist with her son, Jonuthin, during a performance and demonstration at the Humane Society’s Walk Your Paws fundraiser of Parkersburg to City Park. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

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Jennifer R. Strohm