FRONT ROYAL, Va. - Hundreds rowed down the Shenandoah River Saturday to help raise money for some furry friends
"Four years ago, the shelter was euthanizing half of their population." Lavenda Denney, Humane Society of Warren County, said.
It was four years ago that the Warren County Humane Society decided to do something to change that. The fourth annual Waggin' for Dragons Boat Race has been the society's biggest fundraiser, raising over $40,000 last year.
"We are now a no-kill facility, and so, it just costs more money to save the lives of animals than it does to put them down, and we want to save them in Warren County. That means we have to raise more money, and we like to have a lot of fun raising money around here," Denney said.
Fourteen teams and over 500 people participated in this year's event. Each boat races along the river for 200 meters. Teams won awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, "best team spirit" and the team that raised the most money.
Warren County Administrator Douglass Stanley and his team took home the first place trophy last year, and he hopes they do it again.
"It's a rush of adrenaline. We all have the same goal," Stanley said.
Though trophies are nice, everyone's main focus was to raise awareness and money for the Humane Society. That money goes a long way to help the counties stray and homeless animals
"It's money for spaying, repairs on the building, helping get animals adopted [and] food. I could just go on-and-on [with] all the things that we need to help get these animals adopted," Sherry Delph, Front Royal Petco, said.
Delph has been coming to Waggin' for Dragons since the start and loves racing for this cause.
"They come back year-after-year, because they know that this is to save animals. That's exactly what we're out here doing. If we can come out here, try to promote rescue and we get one dog rescued [or] one cat rescued, we saved a life, and we know it," Delph said.
This year, the Humane Society hopes to raise $50,000 with Waggin' for Dragons, and registration for next year's Waggin' for Dragons will open in January.