With so many events being cancelled in the near future due to Covid 19, it’s no surprise that IndyHumane’s annual Mutt Strut fundraiser is going virtual.
Originally scheduled in April at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was moved to Sept. 26 at Victory Field. With an uptick in Covid cases, the shelter made the difficult decision to go virtual.
“It’s a matter of social responsibility. We can’t gather 4000 people at a stadium and maintain 6 feet of separation, especially with Covid numbers going in wrong direction,” says IndyHumane CEO David Horth. “We’re making the best of a bad situation.”
The biggest problem with having a dog walk in a central location is social distancing, says Horth. Instead, this year people will walk their pets with friends or by themselves in neighborhoods, on trails or the canal paths. There will be virtual check-in points you can access on your phone, you can win prizes, and an opening ceremony will be streamed online. Those who have registered for Mutt Strut will receive updates and content via email. You also can get updates by following @IndyHumane on social media.
In the past, Mutt Strut walkers have brought other pets besides dogs. In 2019, there was a pony, a pig, a skunk and a cat. Participants are encouraged to bring any pet to the virtual walk.
Mutt Strut remains the largest yearly fundraiser for IndyHumane, which continues to help homeless pets in Central Indiana, says Horth. “This is a big part of our annual budget, and we’ll do everything we can to make the virtual Mutt Strut work. The cause remains the same, so even if you don’t participate we encourage donations.”
IndyHumane has been scrambling since registrations for the event has dropped off after the walk was cancelled. No sponsorships were lost, but different sponsorship packages were put together. “We’re very pleased that the sponsors are sticking with us,” says Horth.
To register yourself, a team, or just to donate, go to www.indymuttstrut.org.
Keep an eye on IndyHumane's social media pages for fun contests, challenges, and ways to stay engaged until the big day.
“Registrants will receive a limited-edition shirt as well as a reusable bag full of coupons, freebies, and offers from our sponsors and vendors. We will offer several options for socially distant or zero-contact packet pickup throughout September, both at our Michigan Road shelter and at sponsor locations across Indianapolis," says the shelter's news release.