“Initially, we postponed it from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, but we’ve decided that the virtual route is the safest route right now,” said Jessica Garringer, marketing and public relations manager of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. “People really look forward to it every year and we want to still be able to engage those people even though it’s going to be virtual.”
This year, Furry Skurry will be a month-long, fun-filled virtual event that will run the entire month of September. And social distancing will be easy.
“The great thing is anybody can do it anywhere, here or across the country,” Garringer said. “It’s a great way to engage, wherever you are, support a great cause and help animals.”
Participants simply sign up online at www.hsdayton.org/fs to get started. Then, download Strava, an app that lets you track your running and riding, join challenges and share photos. There also is a Furry Skurry Facebook group you can join.
“Even though we’re doing it virtually, we still want to have a community component,” Garringer said.
The goals are lofty as the target is a combined 25,000 miles walked or run and $90,000 raised.
“Over the past five years, we estimate that we have helped 25,000 animals in the Dayton community, not just adoptions but spay and neutering and other services,” Garringer said. “So we thought 25,000 miles would be a good goal.”
The humane society wants to celebrate those animals who got a second chance and raise funds to continue their important work. While the building on Nicholas Road was closed during much of the pandemic – and is still doing adoptions by appointment only – the life-saving cruelty and neglect investigations have never stopped. They were also able to offer virtual training classes, as well as create a curbside drop-off system for spay and neutering procedures.
Contests are a traditional part of the Furry Skurry fun and will continue this year, including the popular pet costume contest with prizes awarded in different age groups.
“This is one, if not the, largest animal-themed event in the Miami Valley and we knew it was important to continue,” Garringer said. “You can get outside in the fresh air, with your dog, have fun and make a difference.”