Casper is delighted. The three-legged cocker spaniel was a star at the last edition of Dogathon in Bengaluru. He wagged his tail and posed, as pets and their parents clicked pictures with him. They even slowed down to match Casper’s pace. This year, as Dogathon returns, Casper and his friends are all set to take to the roads again for a cause.
Dogathon is a three-kilometre walk, organised by pet care brand Heads Up For Tails, to raise funds for the welfare of animals. Partner NGOs who will benefit from this walk include Tail Alert, Indie Dog Commune, All Creatures Great and Small, Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre, Prakriti Farm Foundation, Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals, and ResQ.
The event this Sunday will take place simultaneously across nine cities: Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Pune and Ahmedabad. It starts at 7 am and will go on for about two-and-a-half hours.
“When Dogathon first started in 2018, we did not see it as a fundraiser,” says Samriddh Dasgupta, chief marketing officer, Heads Up For Tails. He adds, “We started it as a way of bringing together a community of pet parents who have the same value systems and goals.” The team then noticed that the pet parents were keen to join forces and help a cause. This led to the fundraiser.
Starting off as a small event in Bengaluru with 40-50 participants, it now sees a surge in registrations in multiple cities. “We are putting a cap on 70 because we don’t want the pets to get anxious and we want them to have enough space. In Mumbai and Bengaluru, the spots are already sold out,” says Samriddh.
For the team at HUFT, more than the funds being raised, these events are about the ability to get people in a city to understand what a shelter needs. Depending on the success, the plan is to be able to do this once every quarter.
Months of recce have been put in to find quiet bylanes with ample shade so that participants are not bothered by vehicles or the heat, says Samriddh. Water bowls and treats will be made available along the way so that all the pets stay hydrated. “Our bikers will be riding alongside and we also have vets on call,” he adds. And at the end of the walk, the event will conclude with a prize distribution for categories such as Happiest Tail, and participation certificates, bibs, bows and ties will be given to each furry attendee.
Dogathon will take place on September 18 and is open to all, with or without a pet. To register, log onto dogathon.huft.com. In Chennai, the meeting point is Y-38, Fifth Avenue, Y Block, Anna Nagar.