Dog lovers unite for RSPCA Million Paws Walk

Published 9:00am 8 June 2024

Dog lovers unite for RSPCA Million Paws Walk
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Hundreds of dog owners and their furry friends gathered at Pine Rivers Park recently to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk and raise much-needed funds to end animal cruelty.

A total of 317 human participants took part in the Moreton Bay Walk on May 26, with all proceeds supporting the ongoing work of the RSPCA to care for animals in need.

RSPCA spokeswoman Emma Lagoon said she was impressed with the turnout this year.

“We did see more people attending Million Paws Walk this year which is fantastic,” she said.

“In the City of Moreton Bay, $17,627 and counting was raised for the RSPCA.”

To date, more than $187,600 was raised in Queensland during the event.

There is still time to contribute. Visit the RSPCA Million Paws Walk website to make a donation.

Photos taken by volunteer photographer Kirsty Lyne.

Dog lovers unite for RSPCA Million Paws Walk

A walk down memory lane

For three decades, the Million Paws Walk has been a much-loved tradition for two-legged and four-legged attendees alike, with multiple walks held across the country each May.

Over the years, more than 750,000 people and 400,000 pooches have participated in Million Paws Walk, raising a phenomenal $16 million for animals in need.

Here is a look at how far the walk has come since its early days: 

1994

The very first Million Paws Walk was held in New Farm Park, Brisbane in October. 500 participants took part with their dogs to make a difference for animals in need. It was a huge success with nearly $10,000 raised!

1995

The event moves from October to May to beat the heat, and dog lovers strut their stuff in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Cairns, Townsville, Kingaroy, Mackay and Bundaberg. Together they raise $70,000!

1996

Time to go interstate! Million Paws Walk ventures into Victoria.

1997

The party expands! New South Wales, South Australia and Australian Capital Territory join in on the fun, with the event now taking place in five states/territories.

1999

A special addition called "The Black Tag Parade" was introduced to the event, where dogs that were once victims of cruelty and given black identification tags upon rescue by Inspectors, were given the honour to lead the walk together with their owners. These incredible dogs proudly wore colourful coats bearing the message "RSPCA rescued me".

2004

RSPCA celebrates a decade of Million Paws Walk, marking ten years of wagging tails and helping animals in need.

2015

RSPCA ACT smashed the Guinness World Record for the ‘Most Dogs Wearing Bandanas’ at their annual Million Paws Walk! It took 764 dogs, all wearing bandanas for five minutes to break the record previously held by a group in Canada.

2020

With physical events halted across the country due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Million Paws Walk went virtual, with the introduction of “Walk This May”. Participants walked in their own neighbourhoods every day for the month of May to raise funds. Walk This May remains popular, a great option for people that cannot attend an in-person event.

2021

Despite the pandemic continuing, Aussies continued to walk and wag to fight animal cruelty, raising over $700,000 through Walk This May!

2022

Physical events start to return, inviting communities to join together once again for the ultimate doggy day out.

2023

Million Paws Walk makes a comeback! Events are held in every state and territory for the first time since 2019. Across 33 locations, 20,000 passionate animal lovers rally together, raising a phenomenal $1.3 million to help animals in need!

Source: RSPCA Million Paws Walk

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