Over the month of June, 1000’s of dog owners from all across the country took part in a wonderful initiative organised by Dogs Trust in order to raise vital funds for the charity in the northside of Dublin.
The aim of the initiative was simple – walk 99km over the month of June on your own or with your dogs while raising money for Dogs Trust both online through Facebook fundraisers and through offline sponsorship. Upon signup to the initiative, each dog received a welcome pack with a sponsorship card, a really cool yellow dogs trust bandana and a matching t-shirt for their human.
With June now over, the finaltally is being counted and at the timeof print, €95,676 has been raised from this brilliant initiative for Dogs Trust. This figure for many people is extraordinary and it shows the genorsity that Irish people continue to have towards animal welfare charities.
While the much needed funds are of course fantastic, this initiative has been a fantastic success in another way. The benefits for people have been wonderful by getting active, and socialising with other dog owners, this initiative has been a wonderful way to boost both pyshical and mental health.
It has been an awesome way for many to make new friends and the Facebook group has introduced thousands of dog owners to each other right across the country. The Facebook group has been a beacon of positivity over the month and it’s been wonderful for people to wake up each day to something other than the negativity that meets us on social media each day. Instead, I like many other of the 99k participants have been waking up to beautiful dogs all over my newsfeed. The feedback from people has been excellent with many saying they will take part in future years. Our own dogs here Bruno & Milly have made many doggy friends who they will continue to be pals with for a long time to come. In our dog of the day series, we asked many of the participants what the benefits were for them and their dogs.
Meeting all the awesome dogs and their owners and the walking made us healthier
All the exercise. It makes training sky easier. Plus i am getting fitter so i can keep up with her. And ive gotten to socialise her more.
Catherine Mc Donnell
We are more active, we do 2 daily walks, one in the morning for around 2 – 3KM and then in the evening we do 7 – 8km. For myself we have more energy and now I’m excited to get out walking. It also has helped me bond with Loki even more. At the start of the journey he was afraid to jump in the water now he he gives me the look to check if it is ok and he knows I’ll be there for him if anything happens. He brings me such happiness on our walks and I find myself being more relax and overall much happier due to increase activist in my life.
Carolina Alfaro – McClorey
We also got in touch with Dogs Trust directly and spoke with Hannah who explained the reason for setting up the 99k for canines initiative.
“We set up the 99k for Canines challenge as an online fundraising challenge which brings dog lovers together with shared goals – love and want to help dogs partnered with want to get offline, go out and exercise more on their own terms! The challenge proved so popular that we got even more sign ups than anticipated. We had to last minute order more shirts and bandanas! The Facebook group element meant we, as well as everyone taking part, could see daily photos of the dogs on their walkies, share their efforts, get support from other participants! We feel this really motivated people to keep going and reach their 99km goal. We directed the 99k participants to set up Facebook fundraising pages providing them with a really quick and easy to way to get sponsors!”
It’s fair to say that this has been an incredible success on every level. With such a positive response, this is sure to grow to be an even bigger event next year and I for one look forward to having the Barking Mad team involved and walking the 99km for the beautiful dogs in the care of Dogs Trust.