The crack of thunder, the threat of rain and the smell of wet dogs were not enough to deter participants in the first One Dog at a Time 5K walk/jog on Sunday morning, as about 50 people showed up to support the canine rescue group.
Paula Wythe, treasurer for the organization, said this is the first of what she hopes will be an annual fundraising event. She was hoping $1,000 would be raised at Sunday’s One Dog Jog.
“We got our charity status last year,” Ms. Wythe said. “We were looking at the calendar and we thought New Year’s resolutions. Get out of bed and get some exercise.”
One Dog at a Time finds foster and adoptive homes for dogs in Cayman, as well as abroad. Founded in 2013, the charity helped find homes for 248 dogs last year, Ms. Wythe said.
One of those dogs, Astrid, was at the event Sunday.
Eric Schwandt, 42, was holding the 8-week-old black puppy, convinced that he was just helping care for the dog for the duration of the morning event. He and his wife Katie, 34, have a black lab of their own, which was at home that morning. The couple has fostered two dogs, one for One Dog at a Time, the other for Cayman Canine Friends.
So far, Ms. Schwandt said, “We’ve had no foster fails. But that might change,” she said, smiling at Astrid and hinting that the pup might become a permanent addition to the family rather than being adopted by someone else. “We have a massive soft spot for dogs,” she said.
Jonathan Wells and Brittanni Seymour, both 27, came with their dogs Bo, a mix, and Rugar, an energetic rottweiler.
Mr. Wells said the event was a good way to support the dog rescue operation while getting some exercise and also getting the dogs out for a walk.
“It’s like killing three birds with one stone,” he said.
Many of the participants walked or ran with their dogs along the route, which went from the junction of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and SafeHaven Drive to the Holiday Inn and back along SafeHaven Drive. Others, without dogs, simply ran the course.
Volunteers, including Brian and Sally Munro, manned several water stations along the route. Mr. Munro was holding Rascal, a schnauzer the couple adopted a month ago. Rascal was newly spayed and was wearing a plastic cone on her head.
Mr. Munro said the small dog had already had a big impact on their lives.
“We weren’t allowed to have dogs where we lived,” he said. “So we moved.”
Ms. Munro laughed and shrugged.
“That’s what happens when you fall in love with dog,” she said.