Rescue Run raises thousands for special needs animals

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Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Hundreds of humans and their canine companions came out to Breck Community Park on Oct. 2 to participate in Ted Berry’s sixth annual 5K-9 Rescue Walk/Run. According to the councilman, close to 500 people and 350 dogs raised more than $18,500 to benefit Speak! for the Unspoken, a local animal rescue organization that specializes in serving animals with special needs. He said he wasn’t sure what the turnout would be due to the continued construction on Demorest Road but was delighted by the presence of so many participants. “It has been so great to see this continued support for this event and this organization from so many throughout the community,” said Berry. Among the attendees taking part in the morning portion of the race was Whitney Sapienza and her festively adorned canines Lily (left) and Ginger. This event marked the third year the Grove City resident has participated in the 5K and the second time with her rescue dogs. She said this is the first time she has had animals who tolerate dressing up for special occasions. “They love wearing shirts and jackets,” she said.
It’s a “photo finish” for Columbus residents Crystal and Paul Goble as they pose for a celebratory picture with their dog Junebug, 3.
With only three legs, the Great Dane Millie Moot does not often participate in 5K events – “she can only go for about a mile and then she is done,” said her human, Stephanie Kistler – but she was able to provide plenty of support to her fellow canines and the other walkers and runners. Kistler, a resident of Grove City, adopted Millie Moot from Speak! for the Unspoken two years ago. Her leg was amputated due to a complication while in surgery.
Hilliard residents Tori and Terri Evans cross the finish line with Kokiya.
Georgia “the Super Mutt” Quinn shows off the medal she received for completing the race.
Grove City resident Kevin Leapley and Sergeant race across the finish line.

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