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The annual benefit to aid rescues and shelters for pets brings multitudes of dogs to the bank of the Willamette River

DAVID F. ASHTON - With a snip of the ribbon, the mutt strut walk in Sellwood Riverfront Park began.Again this year, Sellwood Riverfront Park was the scene of canine cavorting, as the 2017 Best Friends "Strut Your Mutt" Walk and Dog Festival got underway early in the morning of Saturday, September 9.

"This event brings together passionate people who raise money to save the lives of homeless pets," smiled Best Friends Animal Society National Event Planner Annie Laubernds. "It's a great way to bring awareness to the hard work the local animal welfare groups are doing in this community here in Portland."

This is important, she said, because every day in America's shelters, nearly 5,500 dogs and cats are put to death, simply because they don't have safe places to call home.

"Many people come to this event because they have a family dog and it sounds like fun; when they arrive they also learn about some of the work that the local groups are doing in there promoting animal adoption, transportation, and other hard work they're doing in the community," Laubernds told THE BEE. "We have a two-mile walk this year, and as many as 600 people – and at least as many dogs – went on the walk!"

The nine participating groups started their own fundraising efforts in July, and came to celebrate their success: Raising a combined $100,000 in funds that stay here in the Portland area.

For more information about the sponsoring national organization that has links to local affiliates, go online – www.bestfriends.org

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