Walk Woof Wag, an annual dog fun walk and fundraiser, was inspired by Chico youth, Bryce Velasco, who wanted to honor his dog, Jasmine, who was adopted through Chico Animal Shelter. In 2014, Bryce was in the 8th grade at Marsh Junior High School and taking a leadership class that requires students perform a service project. Bryce’s vision was a walk that would be festive and fun and raise funds for Chico Animal Shelter. He approached Dr. Sarah Richardson, owner of The Canine Connection (Jasmine’s “go to” place for training, daycare, and boarding) and asked if she would help him transform his idea into reality. She and Bryce joined forces and planning for the first Walk Woof Wag gathering (held in 2014) began. It was decided that funds raised through Walk Woof Wag would go to Chico Animal Shelter’s medical fund so that the animals in their care can receive the medical care they need while they await loving, permanent homes. Here is Bryce’s story of how Walk Woof Wag began…….
Bryce Velasco: “In Spring 2014, I was a leadership student at Marsh Junior High School. For that class, our teacher assigned us a community service project. I chose to create a dog walk to raise money for the Chico Animal Shelter because my dog, Jasmine, came from the shelter. My story with Jasmine started in Fort Bragg. My aunt, uncle, and cousin had just gotten a new dog. During our time visiting them in Fort Bragg I became very fond of their new dog and I wanted one just like her. When we returned from our trip, we went to look at the dogs who were in the care of Chico Animal Shelter. Sitting there quietly in her kennel was Jasmine, but of course she didn’t have that name yet. But sure enough, she looked so much like my aunt, uncle, and cousin’s dog that I knew she was meant to be MY DOG! We adopted her and have loved every day with her since then. I want every dog to have the same chance for a great home that Jasmine had. My hope is that Walk Woof Wag will help Chico Animal Shelter help the animals in my hometown of Chico.”
The stories of our annual mascots
Since Walk Woof Wag began in 2014, the funds generated by this event have helped many animals at Chico Animal Shelter, and not just dogs! To symbolize ALL the animals helped by Walk Woof Wag, we select one dog each year to be featured as the event mascot. Here are the stories of those dogs. We hope these dogs put a face to the MANY animals helped by Walk Woof Wag.
2017 – Lulu
Lulu is the sweetest, funniest dog! She arrived at Chico Animal Shelter needing considerable medical care. It appeared she had been hit by a car or had some other kind of accident resulting in severe trauma to one of her hind legs. That leg needed to be amputated but that hasn’t slowed Lulu down a bit. She is full of enthusiasm for life! Currently in a foster home, she is awaiting the perfect home where she can share laughter and love forever.
CJ arrived at Chico Animal Shelter on New Year’s Eve, 2015, a sad, injured, stray pup. Only 10-12 weeks old, he was thin, dehydrated, lethargic, and sore. Radiographs revealed broken ribs. Who knows what had happened to poor CJ but one thing was sure, good fortune was ahead. It took a couple of months, but CJ healed up and was ready for his perfect home. He was adopted by his forever family on the last day of February, 2016. Way to go, CJ! Thanks for getting strong!
2015 – Parker
Parker was found on Park Avenue (hence, his name) near the shelter, a sad stray boy in dire need of medical care. His skin was raw and bleeding from infection that raged through him. He was anxious and distraught. After months of medical treatment to get his skin infection under control, Parker was ready for adoption. He could not have found a more loving, home, one that provided him with the best medical care and oodles of love. What was not known at the time Parker was adopted was that he had severe orthopedic problems as well. These emerged once he was healthy and able to run and play. Parker had top-notch medical care from UC Davis and his local veterinarian but eventually passed away from his medical problems. The blessing is that in the last years of his life, he knew and gave total, unconditional love to his family. Though his body was weak, Parker’s heart was huge and strong.
2014 – Jasmine
Jasmine is the dog who inspired Walk Woof Wag. When Bryce found her at Chico Animal Shelter, she had been overlooked at a recent adoption event – perhaps it was because she was destined to be Bryce’s dog. The bond between Bryce and Jasmine was immediate and strong. So strong that it inspired Bryce to want to honor her by helping other animals of Chico Animal Shelter and that’s how Walk Woof Wag began!