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Published 3:35 pm Saturday, July 23, 2011

The problem of animal cruelty and neglect has been around as long as animals have, but Kristin Waugh believes in using 21st-century technology and social media to raise money for the cause.

This year will be her fourth time walking in the pledge walk at the Suffolk Humane Society’s Mutt Strut event in September. She raises money while simply sitting at her computer.

“Nowadays, you can really use technology, so I sent an email out to all my friends and family,” she said. “I advertise on Facebook, too. I usually get a pretty good reception.”


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Waugh’s team, Rawley’s Rebels, raised more than $1,100 last year for the Suffolk Humane Society. The team is named after her chocolate lab. She also has a boxer named Moses.

“It’s just a lot of fun and it’s for a great cause,” she said. “It’s something you can take the whole family to, and your pets, to support the animals in the area.”

The Mutt Strut is coming up on Sept. 18, and it’s not too late for people to sign up for the pledge walk, said Kay Hurley, director of community outreach for the humane society.

“The pledge walk is really central to this event,” Hurley said. “That’s actually how we raise the money.”

Hurley said there’s a misconception that participants in the pledge walk have to walk with a dog. However, people can walk in honor of or in memory of a pet of any species, or simply walk “because they want to help us further our mission,” Hurley said. Even people who can’t attend the event can help raise money as “virtual walkers,” she said.

The humane society focuses on adoption, spay/neuter programs and humane education as a means to end euthanasia of animals as a way to control overpopulation in Suffolk.

Animal lovers also are encouraged to form teams — known as “packs” — for the walk.

Waugh raised most of her money online, but participants can use any method that works for them to gather donations.

People who want to participate in the walk should sign up “as soon as possible,” Hurley said. The society will base its T-shirt order on how many people have signed up.

“I just really believe in Suffolk Humane Society,” Waugh said. “I think it’s really important they find the animals homes and foster homes. They just do so much for the community.”

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