Chewbacca took part in the inaugural Furry Tails Foot Race

UPDATED: Furry Tails Foot Race dog-gone fun in Fort Langley

The inaugural run/walk for the Langley Animal Protection Society raised an estimated $8,000 to support stray and unwanted dogs and cats.

It was a Sunday morning out for Chewbacca, but for the dog’s adoptive family, a run/walk through the trails of Fort Langley meant so much more.

Adam and Jodi Viljoen and their children Talia 10, and Luke, six, have welcomed the Australian shepherd/bearded collie cross into their home with open arms.

“Talia and Luke love having a dog,” Adam said.

The Viljoens along with their beloved canine took part in the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) Furry Tails Foot Race, which started at Derby Reach Regional Park.

Chewbacca and his siblings were found abandoned in a box just after they were born, and were taken to LAPS. Shortly after, some passersby found a female dog that had just given birth.

“They figured out it must have been the puppies’ mother so they reunited the mother with the puppies,” Adam explained.

He added, “Chewbacca was initially adopted by a family when he was eight weeks old, but they could no longer keep him so we adopted him when he was nine months old.”

“We always wanted a dog and he is a perfect match for our family,” Jodi shared.

“We really wanted a dog from LAPS because they really put an effort into matching dogs with their owners.”

The local family helped make LAPS’ inaugural Furry Tails race a huge success, with 126 participants and roughly 25 dogs traversing the trails, raising an estimated $8,000, all of which will go to support the roughly 1,500 animals that are cared for at the shelter each year.

“This being the first annual race, we’re excited, we’re stoked,” LAPS manager of animal welfare Jayne Nelson said.

LAPS executive director Sean Baker wasn’t able to make it to the event, but brought support in the form of 20 family and friends.

Tim Hortons, Save-On-Foods, Valley Traffic, and Peninsula Runners provided corporate support while the Taxi Cats team collectively raised $1,370 for the cause.

LAPS also received support from across the continent. Janet Barrett from West Virginia raised more than $250 by doing laps around her home.

Trophies were awarded for the top male and female finishers in the five-kilometre, and 10-kilometre runs.

• The top 5 km male was Evan Durrant.

• The top 5 km female was Brenda Phillip.

• The top 10 km male was Isaac Baker (Sean Baker’s son)

• And the top 10 km female was Karen McNutt

For more on LAPS, click here.

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