The Million Paws Walk is advertised around Australia as a fun, family day with photos and videos of cute pets screened on our television screens and printed in our newspapers.
But the event is serious about making a difference to the welfare of animals.
Each year, RSPCA Victoria cares for thousands and thousands of animals; supporting and running adoption, veterinary and inspectorate programs. It cares for more than 20000 animals in fact, and these programs cannot be underestimated.
They make a huge difference in the context of our animals’ lives.
Similar to, but also remarkably different from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, RSPCA carefully manages its image as well as picking and choosing its fights and what particular stances it advocates strongly on.
The walk at Victoria Park Lake in Shepparton next Sunday follows the Victorian Government’s sensible and long-overdue call to remove the need for greyhounds to be required to wear muzzles.
It has long been known greyhounds make great pets but the gentle breed has had negative stigma attached to it for years, and was forced into being muzzled — a throwback to when they were considered as only sporting animals.
Regular Shepparton Million Paws Walk participant Val Sheahan told The News about her privately rehomed hound Willow.
‘‘I live with two cats and her best friend’s a Spoodle, so she’s not a threat,’’ she said.
Unlike other dogs, greyhounds are still required to be leashed in public — which is justified due to the speeds at which this particular breed can travel.
Dogs are great companion animals and the love for them led to the birth of the famous saying ‘‘they’re man’s best friend’’.
Animals play an important part in the lives of the young, the elderly and the lonely — in the lives of urban people and those on rural properties.
To celebrate, we encourage all to bring their pooch down for a walk around the lake together.