Puppies on parade

The paws hit the pavement on Sunday, March 3 for the GAWS charity dog walk. (Supplied)

Matt Hewson

Geelong Animal Welfare Society (GAWS) will hold its inaugural charity dog walk event next Sunday.

PAWS for GAWS kicks off at 11am on Sunday, March 3, beginning at the Eastern Park barbecue area and heading to the Geelong Waterfront before returning for a stroll through the Eastern Gardens to complete the 4km walk.

The event is a major fundraiser for the society, which is a not-for-profit organisation relying entirely on donations from the local community.

“As the population of Geelong keeps growing, so too do the number of companion animals in need of our support,” Ms Hayley said.

“GAWS is only as good and as effective as community belief in it and support for it is. So we really do need the community to come on board and support us when we make a call-out like PAWS for GAWS.

“We’re located at Moolap a little bit out from town, so people don’t come to us unless they want to look at the animals or they want to drop off donations.

“So we thought we would come to the community and do our charity dog walk along Eastern Beach and Eastern Park. You don’t need to have a dog with you, you can come along and just enjoy other people’s dogs.”

Ms Hayley said GAWS couldn’t function without the more than 200 volunteers who gave their time throughout the year.

“GAWS is the largest regional animal shelter in Victoria and also the oldest,” Ms Hayley said.

“We supported over 7000 animals in the last two years who have been homeless, surrendered, needed emergency or crisis accommodation and we have a 90% reuniting, rehabilitation and rehoming rate. So we’ve got excellent outcomes.”

Go to gaws.org.au to register for PAWS for GAWS or for more information.