Strut Your Mutt 5K Fun Run and Walk Returns for Second Year


Taking your dog for a run or a walk? The Strut Your Mutt 5K in Highland County makes that activity a community event. The Recreation Director of the Highland County Recreation Commission, Catie King, explains what this day is all about.

Ms. King explains, “The Highland County Recreation Commission is excited to pair with the Highland County Humane Society this year for our second annual Strut Your Mutt 5K Fun Run and Walk. The event is going to be on May 19th, and the registration opens at 9:00 a.m. We’ll start the run at 10:00 a.m., and then the walk will start at 10:05 right after. The event is gonna take place at The Highland County Recreation Pool and will go throughout Monterey. There’s gonna be two different routes for this 5K event, one for the runners and one for the walkers. Registrants can bring their own dog, the Humane Society can provide a dog, or you can come participate without a dog. You’re more than welcome to do the run or the walk, and we do welcome all dogs as long as they’re on leashes.”

For those who won’t have a dog to participate, the Highland County Humane Society will be providing dogs from their organization and other organizations nearby in Highland and Pocahontas Counties. If a connection is made with a furry friend, they will be up for adoption. Corena Huffman with the Highland County Humane Society has more. She says, “The mesh with the co-hosting is neat because you can combine some personal fitness goals and getting your dog out for a walk and, also, meeting new potential dogs for adoptions, so that was kind of the thought with partnering, was something we both wanted to do, a dog walk, but having it also bring awareness to both organizations and how the fitness program is growing within the Rec Department, and then also hoping to bring some new family members home to folks here in Highland if it’s a fit.”

Several vendors and activities will be available, including pony rides, food and coffee trucks, face painting, a photo booth to take pictures with pets, free blood pressure screenings and raffles. Of course, other activities focus directly on pets, too. “We’ll be hosting a rabies clinic with Dr. Joe Malcolm from 10:00 a.m. until noon. He’ll also have other vaccines and veterinary services available. We’ll be microchipping, doing nail trims, that sort of thing,” explains Ms. Huffman.

Some of those services will be provided at a discount. The family-friendly event is open to all ages. Ms. King continues, “An adult ticket price is $20 for a t-shirt, and we actually have a $25 ticket price for long sleeves. If you register one adult, then four children, 18 and under are able to be registered for free. The Highland County Recreation Commission is excited to be able to provide those as scholarships this year, which we haven’t been able to do in the past. To register, we have a Facebook event, and you can go to the ticket button on our Facebook event. We would also love for you to be participating through Facebook and show that you are going and sharing the event. You can also register at or call Catie King at 540-468-2978. Registration is currently open and will close on Monday the 14th, so register as soon as you can to be able to get your t-shirts.”

That registration on May 14th closes at 5:00 p.m. , but folks can also register starting at 9:00 am on the day of the May 19th event. Corena Huffman also provides her contact information. She concludes, “I can be reached at 540-908-9152 or, or we can be reached on Facebook at ‘Highland Humane.’ ”

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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