ELKTON –The sixth annual Pet Partners World’s Largest Pet Walk with local chapter Pet Partners of North Florida activities will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the St. Johns County Equestrian …
ELKTON –The sixth annual Pet Partners World’s Largest Pet Walk with local chapter Pet Partners of North Florida activities will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the St. Johns County Equestrian Center, 8200 Smith Road.
The walk will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and it will include a horse and dog tack and equipment sale, a horse and rider schooling event, vendors, and food and beverages.
Pet Partners is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization specializing in partnerships with therapeutic professionals, educational resources, and research-based programming. Individuals trained as animal therapy educators and handlers by the organization and chapters work with nine species of therapy animals for animal-assisted therapies and interventions, including dogs, cats, equines, rabbits, guinea pigs, domestic rats, birds, mini pigs, and alpacas. The local chapter focuses on bringing visiting pet therapy teams to any facility, school, or business that can use a positive diversion through the human-animal bond.
According to resident and owner of Ravenwood Farms in Keystone Heights, Chris Dunn, this year’s event is for anyone to participate in the walk with their pets and participate as a vendor in the tack sale and ride in the schooling event with additional family-friendly activities including kid’s games, food and beverage and raffles.
Participants walking with equines and horseback riders must show proof of the animal’s current Coggins Test. Participants walking with dogs and other pets must show proof of the pet’s current rabies vaccine.
“We look forward to having participants gather with friends and family for a casual stroll around the equestrian center or take a quiet hike with their furry friend. As a special thank you to those who fundraise, Pet Partners of North Florida is offering incentives such as pet bandanas, commemorative T-shirts, and more,” Dunn said.
“We appreciate everyone who raises money for Pet Partners while doing something they already enjoy, such as walking with their pets,” said Lorri M. Reynolds, a board member with Pet Partners and a resident of Green Cove Springs.
The World’s Largest Pet Walk initiative provides a positive space for anyone to spend time with their pet while also benefiting the community by raising vital funds to help share the love of a therapy animal with children and adults in need of emotional and mental health support,” she said.
There is no registration fee to walk at Pet Walk, but attendees are encouraged to fundraise if possible. Vendors must register to participate, with display space starting at $10 to $15, depending on set up and location.
“Many participants raise money in honor of their own pet. The walk is also an opportunity for employee engagement and corporate support,” Dunn said.
Current sponsors and vendors include area businesses and individuals with Country Caterers BBQ Inc., Knowell’s Lock and Safe, Samikel Customs, Suddenly Sudak’s Succulents, Grace Under the Oaks, Sumo CBD, HAALT Animal Assisted Therapy, Maya’s Muncheez Pet Treats, Lexi Ray Pet Portraits, 2nd Chance Feed Bags, BEMER by Marilyn Samuelson, Boss Mare Equine Therapy Massage, Blade Sharpening by Steve Rodrique, Muttworks and horse tack and equipment vendors.
For more information, contact Chris Dunn at (904) 626-1990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up, visit facebook.com/PetPartnersNF.
Gates open at 7 a.m., and registration begins at 8 a.m.