Celebrity Paws in the Park a Smashing Success for Charleston Animal Society

Thousands of Walkers, Spectators, Fundraisers, Volunteers and Dogs
Joined Forces June 10th to Raise Almost Half A Million Dollars

Monday| June 12, 2023| NORTH CHARLESTON, SC –They walked, jumped, sat, stayed and played all day long!  Over 3,200 people and their pets participated in raising needed funds and community awareness for Charleston Animal Society this past weekend, Saturday, June 10 2023, at Riverfront Park for Celebrity Paws in the Park presented by Crews Subaru.  The event raised a gross total of $479,290.00 with cash and in-kind donations to support the lifesaving work of Charleston Animal Society.

A total of 132 walkers participated in The Rachael Ray Foundation™ Walk for Animals and generated $154,689.00 in team fundraising to kick-off the beautiful day. Tom and Tanya Fitzgerald were Co-Chairs of Celebrity Paws in the Park. City of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, one of the Honorary Chairs for Celebrity Paws in the Park, joined in the fun-filled day with Joe Elmore, CFRE, CAWA, President and CEO of Charleston Animal Society.  Donna Moeckel and her dog Pip were the Official Grand Marshals for the crowd who gathered for a ceremonial walk to memorialize animal victims of cruelty and violence so far this year.  South Carolina perennially ranks among the bottom 10 states for lacking strong animal cruelty laws.  Donna Moeckel’s team, “Pip’s In Crowd,” won the first prize for team fundraising and Louise Palmer won the top prize for individual fundraising.

“This has been a wonderful event for animal lovers of all ages in the Lowcountry and it has become the largest animal event in South Carolina,” said Joe Elmore, CFRE, CAWA who is President and CEO of Charleston Animal Society. “It’s one of the largest events in the Southeastern United States that is dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond, all due to the thousands of participants, volunteers and sponsors.  Funds raised are critical to the lifesaving care that the Animal Society provides to upward of 20,000 animals each year.”

Thanks to Hill’s Pet Nutrition for sponsoring the Pet Adoption Zone. “We were so proud to sponsor Celebrity Paws In the Park again this year,” said Joann Fuller, who leads Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love Program across the United States. “Not only were much-needed funds raised to support Charleston Animal Society, but 20 pets found a home by the end of the event.  You can’t ask for a better result than that!”

Celebrity Paws in the Park hosted canine athletes from around the United States in action-packed shows throughout the day with “K9s in Flight” and the crowd enjoyed live music from the Heartgard / Nexgard main stage, headlined by Midnight City.  Non-professional canine athletes enjoyed running the Swift Paws lure course and participating in Fido’s Speed Zone plus working dogs from the Charleston Aviation Authority and the Mount Pleasant Police Department demonstrated their bomb-sniffing, obedience, and bite work skills in Canine Activity Zones sponsored by Fetch Pet Health Insurance.

New this year was the “Barks & Brews” craft beer festival sponsored by Underdog Fantasy Sports with nine breweries participating including Beve Bene, Brewlab Charleston, Commonhouse Aleworks, Frothy Beard, Low Tide Brewing, Palmetto Brewing Company, SNAFU Brewing Company, Tideland Brewing and Two Blokes Brewing.

Internet sensation Johnathan Lower and his Golden Retriever Teddy (@AGuyAndAGolden) joined thousands of humans and their canine companions at Riverfront Park on Saturday.  “We were so excited when Charleston Animal Society approached us about becoming involved with helping animal shelter and rescue organizations across South Carolina; we felt participating in Celebrity Paws in the Park was a great way to be a part of their event and to expand the meaning of our platform,” Lower said.  With almost 6 million Tik Tok fans and over 1.5 billion social media video views, Johnathan & Teddy’s involvement helped to expand the message about helping homeless animals to new audiences.

A special thanks goes out to our media partners for helping to publicize Celebrity Paws in the Park: Live 5 News, Charleston Radio Group and the Charleston City Paper.  Important recognition to Tito’s “Vodka for Dog People,” Southern Eagle Distributing and Hank & Laurel Greer for making the day for dogs and the people who love them so memorable.

Sponsors include: Crews Subaru, Hank and Laurel Greer, The Rachael Ray Foundation, Southern Crown Partners, Fetch Pet Insurance, HIll’s Pet Nutrition, Boerhinger IngelheimShelly Leeke Law Firm, The Paver People, Underdog Fantasy, Charleston City Paper, Live 5 News (WCSC), Charleston Radio Group, Minero Restaurant Johns IslandTito’s Vodka, My Three Dogs, BlackbaudCharleston County Parks, Spee Dee Oil Change and Auto ServiceUnited Community Bank, Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates, Charleston Veterinary Referral Center, World’s Best Cat Litter, The Bridge Chiropractic, Affordable Family Insurance, Beacon Community Bank, McAlister Smith Pet Cremation, Pleasant Pet Care,  PEP Vision, Advanced Window Fashions, Baker Roofing, Canna Bonez, Preferred Home Service, Passanante’s Home Food Service, Link Apartments, Southpaw Roofing, Raising Cane’s, Hampton Park Veterinary, Digital Ignite, Garrett’s Discount Golf Cars, City of North Charleston, Clay Middleton for Mayor, Peter Shahid for Mayor The Blood Connection, Paradise Home Improvement and Two Good Pups.