Race Series for Dogs and Humans will Benefit Rescue Animals

by Katie Pyzyk June 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm 3,588 41 Comments

There are a lot of local races, but one is encouraging runners to celebrate the dog days of summer with a four-legged friend.

The Lost Dog 5K race series will feature low-key evening races on four Fridays later this summer — August 3, 10, 17 and 24. They begin at 6:30 p.m. at Bluemont Park and benefit the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation. Each runner’s bib will have a tag good for one complimentary beverage at the post-race party at Stray Cat Cafe (5866 N. Washington Blvd).

Although dogs are encouraged to participate, it’s not necessary for humans to bring one. Each dog will get its own timing tag. There will be prizes for top dogs according to weight class, and for top humans according to age group.

Another unique feature is that runners who don’t have a pooch of their own can “Rent-A-Mutt” for $10, and help one of the Lost Dog rescues get a little exercise. There will be about 10 dogs per week available for rental on a first come, first served basis. Rental dogs will not be timed.

In order to participate, dogs must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be well-socialized and friendly with people and dogs of all sizes.
  • Must remain leashed and under the control of a human at all times.
  • Must be current on rabies vaccinations.

Race organizers reserve the right to remove any dog behaving aggressively towards people or dogs.

Due to course restrictions, registration is limited. Registration is $50 for humans or $65 for a human/canine team, and can be done online. There is also a video online answering questions about running with a dog during the summer.

  • Ballstonian

    Sounds pretty neat.

  • Elmer

    Agreed and its for a great cause.

  • Bill

    The only concern I’d have is that a program like this might cannibalize from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. If dollars go to this event, couldn’t AWLA be hurt?

    • Ballstonian

      Maybe? Lost Dog already exists, so any major niche which would be carved out already has been. I think that your concern also presupposes that people would pay for this event in lieu of, rather than in addition to, any other giving, which may or may not be the case.

    • Bert

      Wow really ??How would this take away from AWLA ??? If anything it helps all Animal groups by bringing awareness …..

    • LovesAnimals

      AWLA helps LOCAL ANIMALS while Lost Dog takes them from out of state… I know there are animals in need everywhere but I’d rather put my time and resources to helping all the homeless animals here at home first.

      • Bill

        Right. AWLA gives a lot of local benefit, for which it should be rewarded and protected. Supporting Lost Dog then undercuts AWLA from those rewards.

        The biggest coup AWLA achieved is that they managed to get animal control privatized in Arlington County. That means I can exercise my dog as he needs, without worrying about outside legal and governmental interference. Trust me, having lived places where animal control officers are government employees, it is MUCH better to have a contract for these services. That way the officer is judged not on how many citations are written, but rather the impact on fundraising to each action taken.

        So rescuing stray cats = good. Relocating foxes into the woods = good. Citing heretofore generous AWLA donors for leash law violations = BAD.

        • As a volunteer with LDCRF, I am looking forward to this! I do want to respond to the AWLA comment – they do fantastic work, as do many area shelters and rescues. There are great opportunities for people to volunteer and support many different groups. At LDCRF, we pull animals scheduled to be euthanized at rural shelters, mostly in rural VA and WVA, but also from a couple of shelters in NC that still use gas as a method of euthanasia. Since we started in 2001, we placed over 18,000 dogs and cats in homes. There are animals all over the place needing help, and the DC area is fortunate to have many different rescues and shelters helping animals on all levels.
          This race is a fun way to raise awareness about rescue animals – all of them, and regardless of who you support, if you’re helping support animals getting a home, then we’re pretty happy about it at LDCRF.

        • leashed

          Keep your dog on leash, it’s the law! I was bitten by a dog last summer that was off leash, got a few stitches and even had to go to court. It’s for public safety! all it takes is one runner, one squirrel, one ball thrown for the dog to be running in the street in traffic or chasing after someone. Animal Control is enforcing Arlington Laws, why don’t you write a letter to the city council instead of taking it out on them. I love the leash law and will continue reporting morons exercising their dogs off leash.

          My neighbor was cited by ACPD and another friend just got a ticket from Animal Control.. looks like they are stepping up leash enforcement.

  • Feline

    Discriminates against cats.

  • Bemused bystander

    Why would cats have any interest in racing?

    • Garfield

      “Why would cats have any interest in racing?”

      They don’t……

  • CrystalMikey

    This was a great series last year, looking forward to running out there again with my human and canine brethren real soon.

  • CW

    Rescue animals? Awesome! Dogs are irreplaceable for purposes like searching wreckage for survivors, etc. I’d totally be down to support this.

    Oh wait, I forgot that that has just become a new hip term for pound dogs.

    So what are we calling actual rescue dogs these days?

    • Tabby_TwoTone


      • V. Putin

        No, that’s the post -9/11 term for “firemen”.

    • ShirliMan

      Many, if not most, of the dogs at LDCRF were rescued from kill shelters before being “put down”.

      • CW

        Ok, right. I guess I’d be cool with “rescued dogs”, if people enunciated the “d”.

        The point being that the term “rescue dog” had a longstanding meaning for decades before someone decided to make it the hip new way to talk about strays.

        (P.S. every dog and cat my family has ever had was a stray that we “rescued” so it’s not like I’m hating on the concept or something)

        • ShirliMan


    • st. bernard

      Have some brandy.

      • Tabs

        Don’t mind if I do.

    • John Fontain

      CW, I always get a chuckle when people say they rescued a dog. Unless they pulled the dog out of a burning building or broke through a barb wire fence to remove a dog from a dog fighting yard themselves, they didn’t rescue anything. They sheltered or adopted the animal.

      I guess saying, “I adopted the dog,” doesn’t give them an inflated-enough sense of self worth so they feel the need to say “rescued.”

      • Joan Fountain

        If you obtained your pet from a shelter before being “put down” you most certainly rescued it from certain death.

        • John Fontain

          No, you adopted the pet. And don’t get me wrong, you should feel good about yourself for adopting the pet, but you didn’t rescue it.

          • Arlingtonian

            Yes, you did rescue the dog in that situation.

          • Merriam

            Rescue: ” 1. To bring (someone or something) out of danger, attack, harm, etc.; deliver or save”

            You don’t think imminent death counts as harm or danger? If you need to have your own “different” defintion to feel good about yourself…..

          • John Fountain

            That’s a clown question, bro

          • Parkington

            Stop it.

      • LovesAnimals

        I completely agree with you, John!

        • Justin Russo

          You agree that it’s a clown question?

  • Jakdog

    We got our two year old mutt from Lost Dog and he has been such a great addition to the family. Can’t wait to bring him to one of these runs and support this good cause!

  • Wilbur

    +1 Lost Dog Rescue is the best. Lost Dog Rescue has an amazing adoption rate, helping crisis dogs get to homes. They aggressively instituted great marketing partnerships with local pet stores, getting the adoptable dogs out there to where interested owners are. They adopt out 50 to 60 dogs per week at I think around 10 adoption events per week. Lost Dog gets so much support that there is a waiting list to volunteer for them.

    AWLA??? They have had a deplorable kill rate. http://awlahawk.org/ AWLA has a new director, and the kill rate is down…. but they still have a kill rate. AWLA also does a mediocre job of marketing. How come they dont get their dogs out there – out to the pet stores for adoption events? Out there to fairs? Where is the twitter feed? They do have a FB feed but its anemic. What about publicity? AWLA adoption rate is a fraction of what it should be. It is shameful that our tax dollars go to this organization.

    Another good local group that is working hard, getting dogs adopted, and bringing the dogs out to where the potential new owners are – is Homeward Tails. PetMAC is a big supporter of this group and regularly has adoptable pets in their store.

    • CW

      I am not a stray-dog-management expert but I am wondering – Lost Dog seems to be a private organization that, logically then, would be able to pick and choose its animals, right? Whereas AWLA is charged legally with dealing with everything that comes its way? This is the old public versus private school fallacy, isn’t it? Everyone says private schools churn out better students, but that’s largely attributable to the fact that they hand pick their students to begin with, whereas the public system has to deal with whatever shows up. So what I’m wondering is – does Lost Dog just pick what they want and punt the rest to AWLA? I am just wondering.

    • Frank


      You are woefully uninformed.

      AWLA has a “kill rate” because they are a shelter that must take in all animals, those surrendered by their owners, those animals that their owners can’t seem to keep safely contained, those that have been injured, and more. None of the rescue organizations in our area (well, Lost Dog does have a farm actually) who do great work, have to worry about those kinds of things. It is virtually impossible for any county/city shelter to have a “no-kill” policy due to the nature of what they do. It’s a sad fact, but it’s true.

      AWLA does attend the same “fairs” that so many of the rescue groups attend, they do go to pet stores for adoption events (I’ve seen them at Dogma in N. Arlington) and they have been at Dogma in Shirlington with cats on a regular basis (check their facebook page). They are at the Arlington County Fair, and they hold big fundraising and awareness events at least twice a year; they just did the Walk for the Animals in May I believe.

      Simply put, they need volunteers. Their volunteers are needed to do jobs that no rescue group has to do; they clean the shelter pens and crates, they have to feed the dogs, the rabbits, the cats, the birds, etc. They walk the dogs. Then, to go to the events you mention, they need additional volunteers; because the maintenance of the shelter and the animals in it doesn’t stop when a special event happens.

      Take some time, learn about what actually happens in a shelter vs. a rescue organization without a shelter, and maybe volunteer. That might make you actually know how things work.

      • CW

        Suspicion confirmed.

        • Frank


          I wouldn’t go so far as to say that any rescue group just picks what they want and “punt” the rest – they work hard to get as many animals out of rural shelters as they can. And, all with volunteers to “pull” the animals, transport the animals, foster them, take them to adoption events, do home checks, raise money, provide veterinary care, etc.

          Those rural shelters with very high kill rates have no funding, so higher “kill rates” due to space constraints, lack of food, lack of proper veterinary care – they just don’t have the resources in the community to raise money, and some local governments don’t see adequately funding a shelter as an important thing to do.

          So, the rescue groups have one function, the local shelters, and those organizations that run them have very different functions. We need both.

          • WeiQiang


          • CW

            Thanks for the detailed posts. My langauge may not have been perfect, but your first paragraph of your first post pretty much relays what I had thought to be the case. And you confirm that, for that reason, a comparison between Lost Dog and a shelter, especially one referencing kill rates, is not exactly fair.

          • Frank

            You’re very welcome.

  • Barbara Hutcherson

    Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation and other similar animal rescue groups were formed to ASSIST county funded animal shelters with their sometimes overwhelming burdens. It should, in no way, be an either or proposition, but rather a team effort. The county-funded open access shelters with their animal control components are critical to the communities they serve, and should be supported and properly funded. Ideally, county shelters work in conjunction with rescue groups who take on animals when the shelter is full and are faced with hard decisions. We are all needed at the table.

    In the Northern Virginia area, we are very lucky to have abundant resources and a much smaller problem with animal overpopulation than the more rural areas of Virginia and our bordering states. The spay / neuter and vaccination rates in Northern Virginia are high and our public shelters are well-equipped. Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation and other local rescue groups help in Northern Virginia when we are called upon, but also focus on the more rural areas where the number of dogs and cats being put to death on a daily basis is appalling and euthanasias are often via gas chamber or other inhumane means. In contrast, when AWLA has to euthanize an animal, it is done humanely, professionally and with great care, and usually after every attempt is made to save the animal in question.

    A county-funded, open access shelter and a privately organized rescue group are different- but not competing- entities. Support for any of us is support for animals in need, and thus support for us all.

  • Bert



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