Inaugural Tails & Trails 5K Run Gets “Paws Up”

Owners and dogs alike listen intently to the course instructions.
Owners and dogs alike listen intently to the course instructions.

The first annual Big Lick Vet “Tails & Trails K9 5K Run” was held last Saturday at North Cross School on their cross country course in Roanoke County.  Participants could walk the one mile or run the 5K course with their dog.  Families were encouraged to sign up and bring their dogs, which brought a fun dimension and focus to the event, but dogs were not necessary to participate.

Lots of families turned out, with kids of all ages, many with their pooches appropriately attired in canine fleece sweaters to ward off the cold start to a perfect autumn day.

Big Lick Veterinary Services put on the race that benefitted the Virginia Canine Recovery Team, based in Roanoke, Virginia. The Virginia Canine Recovery Team (VCRT) is a volunteer team that works closely with federal, state, local and volunteer groups in an effort to reunite families and their missing loved ones. Their mission is to serve as a first responder team in local and national disasters, and to supply Law Enforcement and missing person agencies with highly skilled and professional human remains detection dog teams for the purpose of investigating missing persons and homicide cases.

Big Lick Veterinary Services is close to this cause as two of their K9 patients are on the search and rescue team.  Their handler, Karen ReMine, is a close friend of the Harrington family whose daughter, Morgan Dana Harrington was tragically abducted and murdered in October 2009 while attending a concert at John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus. ReMine was inspired to donate her time after watching the dogs participate in Morgan’s search.

Tails and Trails, the first race of its kind in the region, looks to make it an annual event.  Judy Pennino, who brought her three dogs, held onto two of them while her husband Larry ran with “Duke.”  Pennino had planned to run before injuring an ankle.  She said, “Big Lick is our vet, and we signed up for this a while back. This is awesome; next year it will be crazy big!”

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