Rock Falls animal shelter to benefit from upcoming run, walk

Doggy Dash returns to Polo on Oct. 14

The Joines family took the Best Overall Award at the Polo High School's Student Council's Doggy Dash Costume Contest with their Wizard of Oz themed attire. Pictured here, left to right, are Wicked Witch Paula Joines and Annie as Toto; Munchkin Amelia Manis; Scarecrow Beth Manus and Ginger as the Cowardly Lion; and Dorothy Emily Joines and Eden as Glenda the Good Witch. Emily is a teacher at the high school and one of the organizers of this year's event.

POLO – Dogs of all sizes and shapes will again wag and pant their way through the 2023 Doggy Dash with their “hooman” companions in tow on Saturday, Oct. 14, while raising money for a local animal shelter.

Organized by Polo High School’s Student Council, the event includes a 5K run or 1-mile walk and a costume contest for owners and their pups. The registration fee is $25 with proceeds benefiting the Happy Tails Humane Society, 1408 McNeil Road, Rock Falls.

“We had a lot of fun doing this last year so we are doing it again this year,” said Emily Joines, PCHS teacher and co-organizer of the event.

Joines’ family shined last year when they and their canine partners arrived as some of the main characters from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Her dog Eden was dressed as Glinda the Good Witch and her mom, Paula, was the Wicked Witch of the West with her dog Annie as Toto. Another Joines family member, Beth Manus of Tuscola, was the Scarecrow and her dog Ginger wore a fur mane as the Cowardly Lion. The troupe was topped off by Amelia Manus as a munchkin.

This year’s event also includes an obstacle course for the canines. Awards will go to the top three finishers in the 3-mile race in the following age groups: younger than 10, 10 to 18, 18 to 30, 30 to 60 and older than 60.

Canine participants must be current on vaccinations and well socialized.

Race/walk participants will start at the Polo Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, 703 E. Buffalo St., where they will greet residents before proceeding on the route. Packet pickup is between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., with the costume contest at 8:30 a.m. followed by the start of the 5K at 9 a.m. and the walk at 9:10 a.m.

Sponsors of this year’s event are Pet Supplies Plus, Dixon; Petsmart, Sterling; Pines Meadow Veterinary, Oregon; Mutts & Cuts, Oregon; Milledgeville Veterinary; River Ridge Veterinary, Dixon; and the Polo Veterinary Clinic.

To register online, visit

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.