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Best Friends Animal Society looks to raise $500G at NYC Strut Your Mutt event

A portion of the funds raised will go to local shelters and rescue groups.

Sky, a Siberian Husky joins other dogs and

Sky, a Siberian Husky joins other dogs and people as they take part in the Best Friends animal society's Strut Your Mutt event at Pier 84 on Saturday. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

Want to do more to help shelter animals? Now you can.

Best Friends Animal Society is hosting a fundraising walk and festival in support of homeless cats and dogs on Saturday at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84.

Organizers of the Strut Your Mutt event hope to raise $500,000, which will be donated to programs, such as spay and neuter services, adoption events and more. A portion of the funds also will go toward rescue groups and shelters in the New York City area. 

Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, said the Strut Your Mutt event has become a nationwide benefit, raising awareness for homeless pets in cities across the country. 

“Best Friends Strut Your Mutt launched in 1996 in Salt Lake City and that first year everything that could go wrong did, but we did not give up,” said Castle. “Now it is a movement-wide benefit and a primary fundraising platform for hundreds of local rescue groups and shelters around the country — some groups even raise their entire operating budget off this one fundraiser.”

The organization states that there are about 4,100 cats and dogs killed each day, and the group is doing what it can to bring that number down.

“If we work together, we can reduce that number to zero,” Castle said. “Best Friends Strut Your Mutt is an important community event to help save animals’ lives.”

Registration for the event opens at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10:30 a.m. 

Dogs are not required for people to participate, but they are welcome. Activities such as doggy yoga and a smooch-your-pooch photo booth will be set up at the festival. The festival also will feature food vendors, contests, music and more.

Actors and animal welfare advocates Elaine Hendrix, from the 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap"; Holly Taylor, from the "Americans;" and "Impractical Joker's" Joe Gatto will be among the attendees at this year's event.

Last year, Best Friends Animal Society raised close to $2 million across the nation, but hope to increase it to $2.4 million this year.

Those who cannot attend the walk, but wish to donate can do so online on Strutt Your Mutt Day on Oct. 27.

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