Walking for rescue

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Hundreds of humans and their canines descended upon Breck Community Park in Grove City on Oct. 3 to participate in Ted Berry’s annual 5K-9 Dog Rescue Walk/Run. Established in 2016, the event has raised thousands for the special needs rescue group Speak! for the Unspoken and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. This year, more than 500 participants helped raise $16,000 in donations and goods for both organizations. Impressed by the effort of the humans was Paige, a 3-year-old double merle Australian Shepherd, who wanted to check out the second haul of donated bags of food. The unofficial ambassador of Speak! for the Unspoken is deaf due to improper breeding. Tom Valletta, her “foster fail parent,” said they often bring her to events like these to spread the word about responsible breeding and remind people that special needs dogs deserve love and good homes too.
Dutch, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon from Grove City, proudly displays the 5K medal – along with an interesting hairdo caused by the weather.
Tyler Sargent, 10, cuddles with Gideon after participating in the 5K. The resident of Grove City said Gideon wouldn’t stop walking in the wet grass which created a more matted effect. “Gideon is usually more tidy looking than this,” Sargent said.
Laura Blum deftly handles her dogs Earl, Riley, and Loki. “We walk every day so I have lots of practice dealing with the chaos,” joked Blum, a resident of Grove City.
Emily Estep, Dominic Marino, and Holly the Rottweiler/Pitbull mix celebrate after completing the 5K. It was the first time the trio from Grove City participated in the event.
Grove City resident Dustin Richards reaches the finish line with Bow, his 6-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog.


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