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PAWS Giving Independence: ‘Running with the dogs’ goes virtual

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Peoria (WEEK) - You've seen it time and time again this year, annual fundraising events for non profits being pushed to the virtual platform to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures.

PAWS Giving Independence is in the same boat.

Founder Donna Kosner said it comes down to footing the veterinarian bill for the 24 dogs in training.

That is why until September 26th PAWS is hosting their annual Running With the Dogs Race. But this time in a remote setting on the participants own time.

Nearly 200 people ran last year, raising over $10,000. While Kosner said she knows it will not be the same this year, she is hopeful people still participate.

"We know it's going to be less this year, but because our dogs continue to train and we have to continue to place them we do need to do something to cover those costs." said Kosner

Trainer Laura Strauch said virtual or not, any support is support for those in need.

"The number of people in our community that could benefit from these dogs is great and we want to continue to be able give them free of charge so the support of the community and the donations from the community is critical to our mission." said Strauch

Strauch said during the pandemic the progress of training the dogs has slowed. This is because they could not acclimated to public settings where they could be distracted, a big part of training.

"So it's just the little things, where it's like if I was someone who likes to go to the movies all time, I can't take him … we can't get that same level of exposure and then we also can't gauge the dog and how they are in those situations." said Strauch

Runners are asked to post videos of their participation of running with their dogs on the event Facebook page.

Kaitlin Pearson

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