A local animal rescue organization will be hosting the Spay Pride Parade 5K Run/Walk tomorrow, Jan. 25. at the Kiwanis Park Lake in Tempe.

The event will feature demonstrations from the Gilbert Fire Department’s alcohol, tobacco and firearms dog, Tempe Police’s K-9 unit and the Phoenix Area Disc Dogs. There will also be a silent auction, raffle and dog safety class for children.

Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary will host the event, and co-founder Michelle Elek said it will have a family- and animal-friendly atmosphere that aims to educate owners.

“With the homeless animal problem in Maricopa County, education is the key to getting to the root of the problem,” Elek said.

PAWS was started by Elek and Eva DeCozio, a veterinarian, who wanted to care for animals on the euthanasia list.

“It’s really sad because the local pound has so many homeless animals that if they aren’t adopted relatively quickly ... they get put down,” Elek said. “It’s a hard thing that we are trying to make a difference with.”

The run officially begins at 9 a.m., but registration begins at 7 a.m. Those interested can register online at spaypride.org.

• Shelby Slade is a sophomore at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an intern with the Tribune this semester. Reach her at tribintern@evtrib.com.

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