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Seattle Animal Shelter’s Furry 5K supports vet care, helps save lives

The Furry 5K is so much more than just a fun run/walk.

Hero with his forever human, So.

The Furry 5K supports vet care for animals at the Seattle Animal Shelter that face severe health conditions or have been subject to neglect or abuse. Take Hero, for example. Our humane law enforcement officers picked up Hero, a thin but happy stray dog found near Beacon Hill, and during an examination our vet noticed he had a heart murmur. Hero was going to require multiple vet appointments moving forward, but rather than keep him in the shelter environment for the duration, the SAS foster program connected him with volunteer Christy Avery. With Christy’s help, Hero had a comfortable home to return to after his vet appointments – a home where he could relax and thrive. Hero has since found a permanent home with So, who had this to say about his best friend:

He’s absolutely fantastic – the best dog I’ve ever met. Hero’s the therapy dog at the office, with people from other floors coming to meet him (and he greets right back with a smile!). He’s even won over several folks who were apprehensive about pit bulls.

We checked in with Hero’s former foster mom and asked Christy about her experience fostering Hero and what the Furry 5K means to her.

  1. Why did you want to foster Hero?
    SAS wanted to follow up on his heart murmur and put Hero on the foster list so that a volunteer would be able to take him to vet appointments. He would have a comfortable place to stay while SAS awaited test results and decided on further treatment, if that were necessary. Our 14-year-old Chow Chow mix, Kobe, who had been our first foster dog from SAS and also a “foster failure” when we adopted him, had died, but we weren’t ready to get another dog of our own. So, fostering was a good fit for us at that time.
  1. How was your time fostering Hero?
    Hero was an exceptional dog. He was the kind of dog everybody wants, sweet, snuggly and friendly to all people and dogs. He was also what we call “bomb proof.” Nothing made him nervous or scared. Everything and everybody made him happy. So he was a very easy foster dog. It was a pleasure to take him to his vet appointments because he charmed the pants off every vet and vet tech he met.
  1. Have you fostered from the SAS before?
    Yes, five dogs. Our Chow Chow mix, Kobe, was our first foster. We fostered another very happy Pittie named Manny, and very sweet and neglected Chow Chow called Jazzy, who had been seized in a cruelty case. Then Hero, then a little puppy SAS received in a transfer through Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue called Ueli. We have also sat for a number of foster dogs when their foster parents went out of town.
  1. Master snuggler at work!

    What was your favorite moment with Hero?
    Sleeping in and snuggling with him. We both enjoy sleeping in, and he was a champion snuggler.

  1. How can the Seattle community help dogs like Hero?
    Walk or run the Furry 5K, or donate online to the Help the Animals Fund, which pays for vet care. Hero may not have been adopted so quickly if SAS hadn’t been able to pay for the echocardiogram that let us know that his heart murmur was very low grade and should not give him trouble.
  1. What does the Furry 5K mean to you?
    It’s about the animal-loving community in Seattle coming together to help our city’s orphaned animals. I volunteer at the event every year, and it’s always a blast! If you can’t walk or run the course or donate to the HTAF, consider volunteering.

The Furry 5K is coming up on Sunday, June 11, at Seward Park in Seattle. Visit to register or donate or for more information. Race-day registration begins at 10 a.m., and the run/walk begins at 11:30 a.m. We look forward to seeing you there!

Story by Erin Berge, SAS volunteer