Teghan Raco with her puppy Pippa at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Teghan Raco with her puppy Pippa at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

RSPCA forced to change Million Paws Walk due to coronavirus

CHANGES have been made to the much-loved RSPCA Million Paws Walk, with participants now being asked to hit the pavements in their own neighbourhoods rather than large gatherings across the state.

In response to ongoing developments of COVID-19, RSPCA will no longer hold the public event on Sunday 17 May, but the new event will see dog owners walking and running through their suburbs to help fight animal cruelty.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said the new arrangement will celebrate a mutual love of animals while keeping walkers safe and healthy.

"Obviously we'd prefer that the walks could take place as normal, but these are uncertain times and we must adhere to government and health authority advice," he said.

"The funds raised through Million Paws Walks are vital to enable us to continue to care for the 54,000 plus animals that pass through the RSPCA Qld Animal Care Centres every year. "Over 14,000 of these are dogs that have been surrendered, abandoned or seized by inspectors. "These dogs are not as fortunate as your much loved family pet. They often need to be desexed and vaccinated before they have the chance to find a new home."

Participants are still encouraged to fundraise in the lead up to the event with money raised from online fundraising and merchandise sales used to support RSPCA's work within the community, including caring for more than 124,000 animals that come through its shelters each year.

The day will be tied together using the hashtag #MillionPawsWalk and #MPWDOGSQUAD so all walkers can connect and share photos of their dogs and walk routes on social media.

Those who have already purchased tickets are encouraged to have their ticket cost transferred to a tax-deductible donation, however for those requesting a refund can contact RSPCA directly to arrange this.

Individuals can go online to keep up-to-date with the latest information, sign-up for Million Paws Walk: Walk This May, purchase merchandise and start fundraising today.

Details on the website at www.millionpawswalk.com.au.