For me and my pal | Kitsap Week

Pets take a stroll at a previous PetsWalk for the Kitsap Humane Society.  - Contributed photo
Pets take a stroll at a previous PetsWalk for the Kitsap Humane Society.
— image credit: Contributed photo

POULSBO — “And then the guy turns to his buddy and says, ‘Hey, that’s no dog, that’s an iguana.’ ”


Actually, that’s not a punchline to a joke. It’s the annual PetsWalk, a day of events for pets and their human pals.

And if this year’s event — to be held for the first time in Poulsbo — is like those of previous years, you might see a donkey, a llama, maybe even a cat in a stroller.

PetsWalk is a fundraiser, and attention-getter, for the Kitsap Humane Society which works to get every adoptable companion animal a home.

The 21st annual PetsWalk is July 12, beginning at 9 a.m., in downtown Poulsbo.

The day begins with a 5K gallop and 1K stroll for pets and their human pals, starting on 6th Avenue and Harrison Street, continuing to Fjord Drive and into downtown to Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park.

Water stations and cooling stations — kiddie pools — will be set up along the route. The poo patrol is sponsored by Every Dog Poops, a pet-waste management company.

At the park, the day continues with small-dog races, a costume parade, talent contest, photo booth, kissing booth, and lots of vendors. Kind of a Viking Fest for pets, sans lutefisk.

According to Rachel Bearbower, events manager for the humane society, the small-dog races will have two divisions: one, for dogs with legs 4 inches and shorter; and another for dogs with legs between 4-8 inches in length.

The talent contest? Well, last year’s winner won top prize by … sitting. Bring on the competition.

As for the kissing booth: If you hear, “So, my buddy puckers up and when he opens his eyes he says, ‘Hey, that’s not my girlfriend, that’s a golden retriever!” it won’t be a punchline either.

Boomer’s, the downtown Poulsbo pet supply store, is the presenting sponsor and its dog, Henry, will be event grand marshal.

“Henry will be at the start line (of the 5K gallop and 1K stroll) to make sure everyone gets a good start to the run,” Bearbower said. She’ll run in the 5K with her dog, Moe, who’s Rhodesian Ridgeback and Great Dane.

“I’m a big runner and I run with my dog every day,” Bearbower said. “I’ve logged 200 miles in the last six months and he’s run most of those miles with me. It’s important to me that I take my dog with me.”

The City of Poulsbo is also an event sponsor.

“This is one of the biggest events at the humane society, and it’s great to have the City of Poulsbo behind us,” Bearbower said.

Kitsap Humane Society ( is a non-profit organization that has been caring for animals in need since 1908. Bearbower said the society admits more than 4,200 animals per year and has a 94 percent lives-saved rate, one of the highest in the U.S. It’s motto: “Rescue. Rehabilitate. Rehome.”

PetsWalk is one of a series of events this summer designed to increase pet adoptions and boost community involvement.

Until June 22, the fee is reduced to $9, plus the cost of a microchip, when adopting a cat older than nine months. The microchip fee is waived for cats older than 7.

On June 21, Fred Meyer in Bremerton hosts the Kitsap Humane Society’s second Safety Fair. Adoptable animals will be available and there will be a food drive to stock the Pet Food Pantry, which offers emergency dog and cat food to low-income households.

Saturdays in June, the humane society has a booth at the Poulsbo Farmers Market. Stop by and learn about all the programs the humane society offers. Sign up to foster a litter of kittens and/or join the dog walking team. Information on the humane society’s low-cost spay/neuter program, microchip and vaccination clinics are also available.

And then, on July 12, PetsWalk in downtown Poulsbo. Register now to start raising funds and earn prizes. Individuals who raise $300 or more in pledges for the 5K/1K events will get the honor of walking with a shelter dog, getting the dog exercise and exposure to potential adopters. Adoptable animals will be on site as well.

You can register for the 5K/1K until the day of the event, though registration goes up the day of. Register by June 30 and get a T-shirt. If you raise $30 or more in pledges, you’ll win a bandana for your pet pal.

Bearbower said the PetsWalk 5K/1K attracts an average of 150-200 registrants. At the beginning of June, 100 had already registered.


Clockwise from top: Competitors give it all they’ve got in the PetsWalk Small Dog Race. The Costume Contest is for pets and people. Pets come in all shapes, sizes and species.

Photos courtesy Kitsap Humane Society


What: The 21st annual PetsWalk, an event of the Kitsap Humane Society.

When: July 12, beginning at 9 a.m.

Where: Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park.

Why: All the money raised goes toward the care of area animals in need. (Email if you’d like to help as a volunteer.)

To register: 360-692-6977, ext. 1216; or go to

About the Kitsap Humane Society: The humane society is located at 9167 Dickey Road NW, Silverdale.  Since Jan. 1, it has found homes for 1,878 animals and  spayed or neutered 1,680.

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