Although the PAWS Walk has previously been held in September, this year the sunny summer weather has prompted the Humane Society of Fargo-Moorhead to hold it on Tuesday, July 29th. The venue, however, remains the same: Lindenwood Park’s Main Shelter will host the event, with registration beginning at 6:00 PM and the walk itself starting at 7:00 PM.
The Event Grand Marshall will be Esperanza, a dog who was adopted by her foster family back in March. She has been featured in several ads promoting the event, and her Spanish name means “hope,” which she represents with her own shelter success story.
Esperanza arrived at the Humane Society as a puppy in November 2012, when she and her siblings were surrendered by an owner who could not afford to keep them. Having been born with her back legs paralyzed, she became accustomed to dragging herself around until she was five months old, which caused open wounds on her legs.
Luckily, six generous volunteers at the shelter pitched in to buy her a cart, and eventually she was taken in as a foster by Matt and Maria Amundson, who have provided her with in-home physical therapy. Though she’s unlikely to ever walk on all fours on her own, she has made progress and can now stand up for one minute without support.
“Certainly there are days that can be very challenging,” Maria admits, “but at the same time very rewarding… I can’t imagine not seeing her happy face every day when I get home from work.”
A fun summer event for the whole family, the 24th Annual PAWS Walk will have music, games, face painting, dog training demonstrations, and free food and beverages. All proceeds will go toward the Humane Society’s shelter animals, helping both able-bodied and handicapped cats and dogs such as Esperanza find their own happy endings.
This article previously appeared in the High Plains Reader.
– Särah Nour