Now in its 7th year, the Mutt Strut is a 2.5 mile pet walk for charity, benefiting the Humane Society of Indianapolis. While having a dog is not a requirement -- anyone can sign up for a chance to walk around the famous IMS track -- it's a great way to exercise and show off your four-footed friends.
This year, the event is being held on Sunday, April 25th. Participants can check in any time between 11:00 a.m. and 2:15 p.m, and the track is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., rain or shine.
Pre-registration is going on now through Wedesday, April 21st. The minimum donation for those registering in advance is $25 per person for adults (ages 16 and up), $15 per person for kids ages 8 to 15, and free for kids 7 and under, On-site registration is also available the day of the event for a minimum contribution of $35 per person for participants age 16 and up and $25 per person for kids ages 8 to 15. Corporate teams can also register and compete to earn prizes, including a Grand Prize consisting of a May afternoon in a suite at the IMS during practice for the Indy 500! All donations are tax-deductible, but note that Indianiapolis Humane Society advises that you save your canceled check, credit card statement, or other evidence of your donation, as unfortunately, due to the high volume of participants, they will not be able to provide individual receipts.
All paid registrants will receive a free Mutt Strut t-shirt, available in adult sizes only. Other special Mutt Strut items will be available for sale the day of the walk, including ponchos, umbrellas, and water bottles. There will also be sponsor booths set up along the track, offering coupons, samples, and opportunities to enter drawings for prizes. The IMS concession stands will be open as well, with food and drinks available for purchase, although you can bring your own food and snacks as well.
All dogs participating in the walk need to be on a 6-foot maximum non-retractable leash. Multiple pets are permitted for each registrant, and the pets themselves need not be registered. Check the Mutt Strut web site often, as they will be posting a Training Guide and training videos to help prepare your pet for the walk. Wagons and strollers are permited, for those who are worried that their child or pet may not be able to complete the entire walk. Bikes and rollerblades, on the other hand, are not permited for safety reasons. In addition, there will be Pit Crew vet stations set up along the track to check paws, provide water, and help with any other assistance your pets may need.
The Mutt Strut also marks the kickoff of the 2nd annual Poster Pooch Contest. Between Sunday, April 25th and Friday, July 9th, owners can enter a photo of their dog to be considered for the Mutt Strut 2011 Poster Pooch Calendar and the face of the next Mutt Strut. It's only a $5 donation to enter, and then community members donating $1 per vote (with a 5 vote minimum) can select their favorites. Last year, more than 280 dogs competed, with Junior earning over 2800 votes to earn the coveted title.
The Mutt Strut is also looking for volunteers to help out the day of the walk, so even if you're not planning to walk, you can be a part of the event. For information on how to volunteer, go here. There are also opportunities to be a sponsor for the walk or the calendar.
Still have questions? Check out the helpful FAQ page.