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PAWS Cedar Dog Jog back to regular month, set for June 26

PAWS Cedar Dog Jog back to regular month, set for June 26
Participants in the 2020 PAWS Cedar Dog Jog had their choice of a group or an individual “virtual” walk in the event postponed until September because of pandemic concerns. This year a virtual option will still be available, but the event will be held at its regular time in June, on June 26 this year. (Press file photo by James Grob)
By Bob Steenson,

A walk, jog or run along the river with your favorite four-legged friends will also help support animals still looking for homes, in the annual PAWS Cedar Dog Jog.

The 5-K or one-mile event is set for Saturday morning, June 26, and will lead the day into the Charles City Whitewater Festival that afternoon.

PAWS Cedar Dog Jog back to regular month, set for June 26
The 2021 PAWS Cedar Dog Jog will take place June 14.

Julie Taylor, director of the PAWS Humane Society in Charles City, said fundraising is important to the organization, and the Cedar Dog Jog tends to be the organization’s biggest event.

“It’s very, very much helps with the vet care — and on day-to-day expenses, but especially with the vet care we give the animals. That’s our primary focus of what we need the funds for,” Taylor said.

She said registrations have been running pretty much on track with previous years, but there are always a lot of people who wait to register the day of the event.

Last year the PAWS Cedar Dog Jog “Quarantine Edition” was postponed until September because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a virtual option was offered for those who hesitated to be part of a group event.

This year a virtual event will again be offered to those who want to walk on their own — or perhaps not at all — but who still want to support PAWS and receive the entry premiums consisting of a colorful drawstring bag with the PAWS logo, a T-shirt and for participating dogs a choice of color bandana.

Anyone who registers by today (Tuesday) will be guaranteed that a T-shirt in their size will be available on the day of the event. Registrations are being taken online at

“If they register the day of the event or after the 15th they will still get a T-shirt, but we may have to do a second order,” Taylor said.

For those who prefer to register online but don’t make the early deadline today, those registrations will still be accepted up until the day before the event, she said. Family reservations are also available so kids can participate while keeping the registration cost down.

Same-day registrations and check-ins will be 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. June 26 at the small shelter in the park near the concrete slide, at the end of Leland Avenue by the Cedar River. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m.

People and their pets can proceed at their own pace, Taylor said, adding, “It isn’t a race.” The event is open only to dogs, she said, because of the possibility that the dogs could get overly excited by the presence of other animals.

“We ask that the dogs be up to date on vaccinations and friendly with people,” she said. “Usually we don’t have much of a problem with the dogs that come. Occasionally you’ll have one that’s just super energized around so many other dogs, but I don’t think we’ve ever had an aggressive issue or anything like that. I think people are pretty good about knowing how their dog is going to behave.”

The route for this year’s PAWS Cedar Dog Jog will be the same as for the last two years.

The route for the 5K will go on the trail along the Cedar River to the suspension bridge; across the bridge to a loop around Park Drive and Chautauqua Avenue; back across the bridge and down Clark Street to Joslin Street, to Blunt Street, to Main Street; southwest on Main across the Main Street bridge, then to the pedestrian bridge; across the pedestrian bridge back to the trail on the north side of the river then back to the starting point.

A one-mile route will also be available, and watering stations will be provided along the routes.

Dog and puppy identification microchipping will again be offered this year at the event’s beginning/ending location on Leland Avenue, from 9:30 to 10 a.m., Taylor said. The price will be $35 per dog and will include registering the dog’s identification information.

Taylor said they aren’t going to require any special COVID-19 precautions for the event, such as masks.

Other than cancelling events, Taylor said, she hasn’t seen huge changes at the shelter because of the pandemic.

“I would say adoptions did go up a little more, both adoptions and people willing or able to foster animals for us when COVID was kind of at its worst and people were home more and working from home,” she said. “It did go up a little bit for a while there, but I wouldn’t say that now it’s dropped down significantly, either, in people being interested in adopting.”

There have been some reports nationally of shelters now receiving more animals than usual, as people who got pets to deal with the loneliness of COVID isolation now decide they don’t want them anymore as things return closer to normal.

But Taylor said she hasn’t seen that here.

“I haven’t seen the flip side of people now not wanting the animals or contacting us wanting to return them or anything like that. So that is good,” she said.

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