Sarge’s Downtown Dog Walk fun starting earlier in 2017

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation (Sarge’s) will start its 12th annual Downtown Dog Walk at 9am, an hour earlier than in the past. The change was made for the safety and comfort of both dogs and humans. Sarge’s estimates that all events will be over by 11am to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

The 2017 event will be on Saturday, August 5. Dogs, owners, volunteers and spectators will once again start from the Haywood County Court House on Main Street in Waynesville. The 15-minute walk will take participants through downtown, eventually circling back to the courthouse. Then, the fun will continue with contests for most money collected, best dressed, best trick and best tail-wagger. Eddie Foxx and Sharon Green from 99.9 Kiss Country, helped by a few specially chosen Waynesville locals, will judge the contests. A release from Sarge’s pointed out that only humans are eligible for the “most money collected” division and only dogs can compete in the other categories.

Throughout the event, adoptable dogs handled by Sarge’s volunteers will meet and greet spectators and participants in the hope of finding a new home.  Those dogs available for adoption will be wearing an “adopt me” bandana and introduced to the crowd on the court house steps.

The Downtown Dog Walk is Sarge’s biggest annual fundraiser, with volunteers raising money in several ways. Some volunteers collect money directly, or take pledges on a pledge sheet. Other volunteers become virtual dog walkers for donors who want to sponsor dogs in the parade but can’t, or don’t want to, do the walking themselves. All those who collect more than $20 will be given a free 2017 Downtown Dog Walk T-shirt.

The T-shirts are also sold directly to the public before, during and after the event. Adult T-shirts are $15 and children’s T-shirts are $10.

Money is also raised through a registration fee of $15 for each dog walking in the event. The fee earns payers a dog walk goody bag and a dog bandana as well as the thanks of Sarge’s staff and volunteers. A Partner’s Pledge Form, which allows walkers to gather donations from friends and family, is also given out with each registration. Many supporters of Sarge’s form teams to collect pledges, and there will be prizes for those collecting the most money with the Partner Pledge form.

For more information about the 12th Annual Sarge’s Downtown Dog Walk on Saturday, August 5, or about Sarge’s work to save Haywood County dogs and cats, go to, visit Sarge’s Facebook page, or call 828 246-9050.