SIOUX CITY | Dozens ran or walked on two legs or four in the Siouxland Humane Society's Pets on Parade Saturday at Riverside Park.
The annual 5K and one mile fun run is a fundraiser for the nonprofit animal shelter where participants were able to run with their leashed furry friends.
Brad Hansen and his pup M.J. won the 3.1-mile trot (even with having to stop for two potty breaks.) The Sioux City man and the dog from a Sioux Falls pound have earned gold once before at the fun run that is held on the Riverfront trail.
"She's the real two-time winner though; she crosses first," said Hansen of his 6-year-old Labrador mix who can keep up with him on runs of up to 6 miles if the weather is right.
"I wish (the race started) an hour or two earlier when the clouds were out so it would be better for the dogs, but I thought the run went really well," Hansen said. "Today was right about her limit."
After the fun runs there were vendor booths, a large silent auction, free food, music and a chainsaw wood carving demonstration. Missie Fischer, the shelter's director of development, was pleased with how the 15th year of the event went.
"All the money goes to the animals at the shelter," she said. "We are a little different, we aren't a national organization ... We are independent and don't receive any national, state or local funding or United Way funding. Our complete operation is on fundraisers such as this and private donations."
Each runner or walker had to pledge at least $30 to participate. Some big silent auction items included Kansas City Royals tickets, signed sports memorabilia, pet accessories, hotel stays and car washes.
Fischer said the funds will help the organization continue to provide care for the pets before they find homes. It will also help support other services the shelter provides such as its pet food bank, spay/neuter assistance, pet therapy and educational programs.
"We have a lot of programs and services but our main thing is to care for the animals. They get dropped off, some of them are neglected, some are so skinny you can see their bones, some have medical issues and some are just older," Fischer said of the shelter located at 1015 Tri-View Ave. "It is really sad some of the excuses that come in. But we find 100 percent homes for every animal that we get that is adoptable."