Walk A Hound, Lose A Pound

Event combines fitness with canine companions


Walking burns between 174 and 612 calories per hour, depending on your weight and how fast you walk.

Walking with your hound does not mean you burn calories faster, but it does give you both something to look forward to each day.


Peaches is a 5-year-old Red Tick Hound. A gentle lady, she likes to keep her nose to the trail.

Payson Parks and Recreation is holding its first ever Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound event at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 31 at Rumsey Park.

Fees are $15 to pre-register and $35 the day of the race.

"All dogs who cross the finish line will get dog treats and toys," said Holly Aungst, recreation coordinator for Parks and Recreation.

The T.O.P. Striders began walking as a group in January with a goal of being able to walk in this event said Aungst.

The Striders started out under a mile and are now up to over three miles.


"We really need to find a special home for Shasta," said animal care supervisor, Ellie Watson. "He is perfectly healthy except he was born deaf. He is very loving." Shasta is a 15-week-old male Queensland Heeler.

They have been meeting at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but March 29 is their last formal walk.

Group members are tentatively talking about changing the time and restarting on their own in April for a couple of months, Aungst said.

People are welcome to bring their dogs and walk or run the 5K. The route begins at Rumsey Park, heads down McLane to Longhorn to Payson Parkway then turns back West to Chatham, rounds Buckhorn to Wagon and Pioneer Trails then back to the park.

Division ages are 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and up.

"There will be ribbons awarded in each age category," Aungst said.


Brutus is a 6-year-old male Coon Hound/Rottweiler mix. He has a big heart and walks well on a leash.

Pre-registered participants will receive one souvenir race shirt for themselves and one canine companion. Additional doggie T's can be purchased for $10 each.

Registration can be done online at http://www.paysonparks.com or forms can be picked up at the Parks and Rec office located in Green Valley Park at 1000 W. Country Club Dr., Payson.

The benefits to walking a doggie companion go beyond the calories burned.

"Walks are a good way for dogs to get socialized," Ellie Watson said. She is the animal care supervisor at the Payson Humane Society.

"We believe dogs should be walked twice a day, especially if the dog does not have the freedom of a back yard," Watson said.

Even if a dog has a fenced yard to roam in, working owners may not realize the dog has mostly been lolling on the deck all day in the sun.

"Your (canine) buddy looks forward to when their owner comes home," Watson said.

When the dog knows there will be a walk or a game of fetch, its tail wags its happiness.

When you step out, remember to carry water for both you and your dog. Bring along a pooper-scooper. Stop and take a rest break when you or your companion needs it. (Dogs do not sweat. They keep cool by panting.)

A pair of walking shoes with good heel support is the basic equipment required by human walkers.

Light stretches before you walk will help your muscles warm up.

Walking gives a body more energy, releases endorphins that in turn reduce stress. Walking tones muscles, controls appetite and helps you sleep better.

All these are good reasons to walk your hound.


Walkers can purchase a bandana or collars from a volunteer at the Payson Humane Society's booth at the Parks and Recreation Walk a Hound, Lose A Pound event.

Humane society volunteers and board members will be walking dogs who need good homes.

The humane society is currently at capacity for both dogs and cats.


Senior citizens* can adopt a dog for just $25.

Anyone can adopt a dog that is more than 5-years-old or has been at the pound for over six months for $35.

  • May require an in-home visit by Payson Humane Society staff or board member.


Senior citizens may adopt a cat for $10.

Anyone can adopt a cat that is more than 5-years-old or has been at the pound for over six months for $35.

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