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Dog Jog welcomes 2-, 4-legged participants

Marlee Kwasnica, 11, darts from the starting line with her dad, Tony, and dog, Penny, during the 8th annual Dog Jog benefiting Pets Come First on Saturday at the Grange fairgrounds. Penny, a sheepadoodle, wanted to run alongside Marlee for the race.
Marlee Kwasnica, 11, darts from the starting line with her dad, Tony, and dog, Penny, during the 8th annual Dog Jog benefiting Pets Come First on Saturday at the Grange fairgrounds. Penny, a sheepadoodle, wanted to run alongside Marlee for the race. adrey@centredaily.com

It wasn’t just people running in a 5K race and mile-and-a half-walk Saturday.

Dogs were part of the trot, too.

And if you were Jasmine, a 3-year-old miniature golden Labrador retriever, you wouldn’t have wanted to stop.

“We were on vacation last week so she’s been cooped up for a few days,” owner Liz Reily said. “We got her out last night when we came home but knew this was going to be better for her.”

And even after the race, though tied to a leash, Jasmine still attempted to get Reily to run a little more.

“She’s got a lot of energy right now,” Reily said.

About 150 people and 75 dogs participated in the eighth annual Dog Jog and Walk at the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair grounds, which supported Pets Come First.

The organization is a Potter Township-based animal rescue and shelter.

$10K fundraising goal

The goal this year was to raise more than $10,000 toward general operations, shelter manager Deb Warner said.

Saturday’s event also included pet vendors and an agility course.

Mellie, a 4-year-old Yorkie, nearly escaped her leash as she ran up and back down an agility pyramid.

The 5-pound dog didn’t have a problem with speed, or height of the obstacle.

But it was different for her brother.

Cooper, a 6-year-old Doberman who followed, made it to the top, but couldn’t get back down without the help of owners Michael and Rae Hosterman.

“He’s a big baby,” Rae Hosterman said with a laugh.

The Hostermans participated in the event for the fourth time.

It’s a big part of us. We’ve adopted from here before. We’re big advocates of animal care and feel really fortunate there is a facility like this in our area

Rae Hosterman, participant

“It’s a big part of us,” Rae Hosterman said. “We’ve adopted from here before. We’re big advocates of animal care and feel really fortunate there is a facility like this in our area.”

The event was started eight years ago by former members of Pets Come First.

“We’re just keeping the tradition,” event organizer Nicole DeFazio said. “It helps us financially, but we’re happy with just bringing people out, spreading awareness about Pets Come First and having a good time.”

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

IF YOU GO

Next Pets Come First fundraiser

What: 2016 Wine Tasting: Take the Back Road

When: 5-8 p.m. May 14

Where: Seven Mountains Wine Cellars

Admission: $25 per individuals, $40 a pair

Other: Includes live entertainment by Jason Thomas

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