Paw Prints Pet Fest & 5K will benefit shelter animals

October event will raise funds for potential adoptees

Special to The Sun: Proceeds from this year’s Paw Prints Pet Fest & 5K, hosted by the Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter on Oct. 9, will help fund medical and foster care for animals at the facility.

The Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter will celebrate its 10-year anniversary at the 2022 Paw Prints Pet Fest & 5K in October. 

Events on Oct. 9 at Smithville Park will include family-friendly and pet activities, a pet costume contest, a raffle basket tent, more than 40 vendors, games and prizes. 

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According to friendsofbcas.org, the shelter is a nonprofit that cooperates with the county’s animal facility to care for animals and place them into adoptive homes. Founded in 2010, its aim is to reduce the number of homeless pets within the community by sponsoring low-cost, spay-neuter surgeries. 

All proceeds raised from this year’s Paw Prints Pet Fest & 5K will help fund advanced medical care, spay and neuter assistance and animal foster care.

“We’re looking for this year to have a great turnout, to invite back all of our past participants and create more awareness in Burlington County for our need to become ‘no-kill’ by 2025,” said Karen Isky, event chair and volunteer. 

“Our goal in this is to reduce the homeless animal population in Burlington County.”

Isky explained what people can expect at the Smithville Park pet fest.

“This is an annual county-wide event that brings together both animal lovers and fitness enthusiasts, because it’s not only a festival, but we also include a 5K,” she noted. “And Smithville Park … that’s where it is held at (and) it’s a beautiful, historic venue.”

The Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter is also a Best Friends Network Partner. The network is made up of hundreds of shelters, rescue groups and other animal welfare organizations around the country and is committed to saving the lives of homeless pets through collaboration and implementation of effective adoption and other programs.

“What we do is advanced medical care, sponsoring reduced spay and neuter services, foster care …” Isky explained of the Friends’ shelter. “We come in, we walk the dogs, we cuddle the cats … 

“We do everything we can, because a lot of times, an animal will come into the shelter and either it’s been neglected or it requires some sort of surgery,” she added. “… So that’s where Friends steps in, so that then the animal has a greater chance of adoptability.”

The October event will include a county Animal Shelter Adoption Zone for guests to visit with potential adoptees. Isky emphasized how important the pet fest is for animals who need homes.

“What the shelter has experienced is, during COVID, a lot of people adopted because they were at home … But now that they’re returning back to work, the shelter (is) seeing an influx of surrendered animals, because people are going back to their offices and may not have time for the animal anymore,” she said. 

“It’s even more important this year for people to come out and support this event so that we can get more animals adopted.” 

Registration for the 5K run/walk is required at https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Eastampton/PawPrints5kRunWalk. Tickets for the Big Dog 50/50 drawing can also be purchased online. 

For more information on the Paw Prints Pet Fest & 5K, sponsored this year by Davis Honda, visit https://friendsofbcas.org or the Friends’ official Facebook page. Anyone interested in volunteering for the Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter can visit https://friendsofbcas.org/support/volunteer/.

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