Run To Raise Funds For SPCA

Posted: April 6, 2013

Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA volunteer Rachel Butts, a James Madison University junior, plays with Darcy, a 1-year-old beagle mix. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Each one has a name.

There is Buffalicious, a yellow-and-orange domestic shorthair cat; Harley, a 3-year-old black-and-white Terrier/American Pit Bull; Bun Bun, a 3-year-old dwarf rabbit and Pinstripe, a 1-year-old black and white guinea pig.

They all sit in cages, waiting for someone to give them a home. A few poke their paws through the enclosure while others jump up and down.

Some just stare.

5K For A Cause
The Rockingham/Harrisonburg Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is overrun with around 3,000 furry critters every year.

Some are strays run down by animal control. Others are runaway pets.

Workers and volunteers spend their days at the facility spaying, neutering and vaccinating their new residents.

On April 21, James Madison University club Tri-Beta will run in support of these homeless animals. The biology honor society will host its first-ever “Paws for a Cause 5K” run at the campus arboretum from 2-4 p.m.

The event will raise money and awareness for the local SPCA by featuring shelter animals, as well as food and refreshments.

Catherine Torres, 19, a biology major and Tri-Beta member, said she is looking forward to helping.

“We are really exited about this event,” she said. “We were told that some of the SPCA dogs will be able to come to the event, so we are really exited to get them involved since the proceeds are going to them. …  It’s a great way to get [the JMU] community involved with the Harrisonburg community.”

The executive director at the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA, Anne Anderson, said government funding and adoption fees cover about 50 percent of annual costs. The rest is covered by donations and fundraisers, such as “Paws for a Cause.”

“When we get animals in with special needs, our resources can only be stretched so far,” Anderson said. “So, when we have extra funds, we make sure those funds are utilized to do something to help these homeless and abandoned pets.”

JMU students mean the world to the SPCA and the animals at the shelter, Anderson said.

“The students here in Harrisonburg, we are so blessed, in that they are so supportive of us in terms of volunteering and also to help us raise money to assist these animals.”

Hayley Norian, 21, a biology and Tri-Beta member, said she is happy to help.

[I am] excited that we get to do something that might actually have an impact on the community and getting us involved with the community that we are a part of here at JMU and anything that we can do to give back to the SPCA because they do such great work.”

Contact Timothy Schumacher at 574-6265 or

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