Stark County Humane Society Unites Dog Lovers for Mutt Strut

NIMISHILLEN TWP. – Monster Cookie. Prince. Captain America. Wile E. Coyote.

Sandy Provost dressed his beloved miniature pinscher like just about anything. One of his favorite costumes was a minion from the “Despicable Me” franchise.

“The year he was the minion was the first year he had to wear pants,” she said. “He didn’t like wearing pants. So I had to coax him with treats.”

Provost and his 11-year-old rescue, Zeke, have attended the Stark County Humane Society‘s annual Mutt Strut every year since 2013. The casual two-mile walk for pets and owners includes door prizes, contests of pets and resources of other animals in the area. agencies. It aims to raise funds for human society.

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“My son calls me a crazy female dog, and I just like going to these events and seeing other people who like to hang out with their dogs,” Provost said.

This year, the Humane Society is hosting its 25th annual Mutt Strut. The event takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the agency’s walking path at 5100 Peach Street NE.

How the Mutt Strut got its start in Canton

Maggie poses for a photo at the Stark County Humane Society as the agency prepares for the 25th Anniversary Mutt Strut Walk and Fundraiser.  The event will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday on the agency's walking path at 5100 Peach Street NE, Township of Nimishillen.

Jackie Godbey, executive director of the Stark County Humane Society, said the event began 25 years ago and was the brainchild of a member of the Canton Preservation Society. The first march took place at Monument Park in Guangzhou. Participants and their pooches walked from Monument Park to Fulton Drive NW. In the years that followed, the event traveled across Stark County.

“It’s been anywhere from Monument Park to Massillon Reservoir to Schneider Park,” Godbey said. “We moved it everywhere. And finally, now that we have a walking trail here in our refuge, we host it here every year.”

Between 75 and 100 owners and their dogs typically take part in the walk, but Godbey said turnout was largely affected by the weather. Entrants compete in a series of friendly contests, including Craziest Tail, Wackiest Pet Talent, Owner/Pet Lookalike, and Best Owner/Pet Costume.

Ace, 5, is a resident of the Stark County Humane Society.

“People get really creative with (the costume contest),” Godbey said. “We had Little Red Riding Hood and her dog who is a husky dressed as the Big Bad Wolf. We had all kinds of stuff.”

Provost looks forward to the costume contest and said the event is great fun every year.

Godbey said the Humane Society is grateful for the event’s continued support.

“We’re just happy to be able to continue,” she said. “That’s why we’re recognizing it as the 25th year and just trying to make it as fun as possible.”

Contact Paige at 330-580-8577 or, or on Twitter at @paigembenn.

Ace is visited by the Stark County Human Society kennel manager, Diana Findling.  The Humane Society will host the 25th Annual Mutt Strut Walk and Fundraiser from 1-5 p.m. Sunday at the agency's walking path at 5100 Peach Street NE, Nimishillen Township.

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