AWA prepping for annual 5K race and Doggie Fun Day

South Jersey residents can expect the non-profits annual event to feature new events and activities, including liquor tastings for adults and new animal booths.

The Animal Welfare Association is making the final preparations for its annual Paws and Feet 5K Race and Doggie Fun Day Saturday, May 11 at Cooper River Park.

This day, filled with a 5K, one-mile walk and plenty more activities, is the AWA’s largest fundraising event of the year, as the nonprofit relies heavily on donations to stay in operation year-round.

All events will occur between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and are presented by the Camden County Board of Freeholders.

For those interested in participating in the run or Smile Mile activities, registration is $25 for participants who pledge to raise $200 or more through fundraising efforts. Meanwhile, those who are unsure about fundraising or have a goal lower than $200 can register for $40. Children may register for $20.

Additionally, runners and walkers are able to go along with their animals as well.

Registration fees are the same for the run and the walk, with each entrant receiving a Paws and Feet 2019 T-shirt, a race bib and time and the end of the race.

After the race starts, the Doggie Fun Day portion of the AWA’s event is filled with a plethora of activities for pets and their owners alike, according to Sophia Barrett, special events and community programs manager.

“It’s a big celebration of pets and their owners with a lot of different activities,” said Barrett.

For pet owners, the event will include a live DJ, a basket raffle, food vendors, face painting, 50/50 raffle and more. Also, for the first time the AWA will have liquor tastings at the event.

However, as for pets, Cooper River Park is expected to be flooded with animals.

Throughout the day, the Doggie Fun Day will include a Barktini Bar with safe, fun treats for dogs, a presentation of a dog agility course, a dog ice cream sundae bar, a dog swim party and more.

Additionally, residents from all over South Jersey will have the opportunity to meet adoptable dogs and cats available at the AWA, as well as make a stop at the Doggie Kissing Booth to meet with dogs in need of foster homes.

The newest addition to this year’s events includes the Cat’s Meow’s Lounge, according to Barrett.

“We will have kittens on site that you can come in and cuddle,” Barrett said.

More information is available at the AWA’s website, and there is still time to register for the 5K race and Smile Mile by visiting www.awanj.org/pf2019/.

On average, the AWA expects it takes about $300 to save the life of one shelter dog. With a goal of $100,000 through fundraising and donations for this year’s event, the nonprofit hopes to be able to make this annual tradition its most successful yet.