PRESS RELEASE: Paw Valley 2020

The Lawrence Humane Society’s Paw Valley event will now last the full month of May instead of a single day

Lawrence, KS April 3rd, 2020:  To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, while still helping change and save the lives of animals in northeast Kansas, the Lawrence Humane Society (LHS) has made major changes to one of their biggest annual events.

The LHS Paw Valley Challenge and 5K will now last the entire month of May.

Participants will be able to walk anywhere throughout the month to raise money for the several thousand animals the shelter cares for each year.

Typically, the Paw Valley 5K and Festival is a single-day event taking place at Lawrence’s historic South Park. However, according to Lawrence Humane Society Director of Development and Communications, Michael LaFave, an event attracting nearly 1,000 people was not a viable option this year.

“With COVID-19 in play, we could not ask the community to come together for a 5K and festival this year,” LaFave said. “However, one of the few things people can still safely do right now is go for a walk. This year’s format will allow participants to walk their dog, or just go for a walk or run anywhere at any time throughout the month of May. That way there are no large gatherings of runners or walkers in one place at one time. This is a great way to spend quality time with your dog, get some exercise and raise money for lost, abandoned and abused animals in our community.”

The Paw Valley Challenge will last from May 1st to May 31st.

The LHS is challenging Douglas County residents to walk, run or hike 20 miles during the month.

Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a prize, with special awards going to the people who walk most frequently and who walk the most miles.

“Instead of having to go to downtown Lawrence on a specific date, the Paw Valley Challenge offers animal lovers the opportunity to walk at their favorite trail, or right outside their front door,” LaFave said. “And the beauty is, you can do it whenever is convenient for you. If you’re busy during the day, you can walk in the evening. If you’re busy on Saturdays, well, there’s still six other days a week you can walk and support the shelter animals.”

Meanwhile, The Paw Valley 5K is a timed race lasting the week of May 24th through May 30th.

The LHS has outlined multiple 3.11 mile routes in different parts of Lawrence. However, runners are welcome to run where ever works best for them.

There will be prizes for everyone who completes the 5K race. And the shelter has some special awards for the fastest times in a variety of categories.

Early bird registration is now open. To register or find more information on the Paw Valley Challenge and 5K, click here.

“Adoptions are down because people need to stay at home,” LaFave said. “We’ve suspended all public services to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. And fundraising meetings are on hold, for who knows how long. However, dogs and cats are still coming into the shelter on a daily basis. They need and deserve the best care possible and to find a forever home. The Paw Valley Challenge and 5K is a safe and fun way the community can help change and save the lives of thousands of animals who find themselves homeless through no fault of their own.”

Thank you to Paw Valley presenting sponsor, Hill's Pet Nutrition
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