RSPCA wants you to walk this May: a new way to fight animal cruelty amid the COVID-19 crisis

THE COVID-19 crisis may mean that large gatherings are a thing of the past, for now, but that hasn't stopped the RSCPA finding a creative way to host its Million Paws Walk event to fight animal cruelty.

The RSPCA has adapted their much-loved national dog walking event by launching Million Paws Walk: Walk This May.

WALK THIS MAY: The RSPCA is encouraging owners and dogs to walk in their backyards and raise funds as part of its Million Paws Walk initiative.

WALK THIS MAY: The RSPCA is encouraging owners and dogs to walk in their backyards and raise funds as part of its Million Paws Walk initiative.

Instead of dogs and owners joining organised public walking events across the country on May 17, the new event will see dog owners hit the pavement in their own neighbourhoods and backyards, and responsibly walk to fight animal cruelty during the month of May.

Million Paws Walk: Walk This May will celebrate a mutual love of animals while keeping walkers safe and healthy. Participants are encouraged to don their activewear to walk their four-legged friends in the safety of their own streets and backyards, for the purpose of helping the RSPCA continue to do their vital work in animal welfare.

"Our Million Paws Walk fundraiser has always been a way to bring animal lovers together to support animals in need. Walk This May will continue in this spirit and allow the community to connect for this cause in a different way at this difficult time," says Steve Coleman, CEO of RSPCA NSW.

"During this public health crisis, we will still be working to keep providing medical treatment, care, food and shelter for animals suffering cruelty and neglect. With your support, we will still be supporting pet owners, investigating animal cruelty reports and ensuring animal welfare standards are upheld."

Participants are 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.

Whether participating inside or outside, walkers can log their steps in the online pawdometer to show friends and family how much movement they have made, encouraging them to donate to animals in need.

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

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.