Pooch and Pal Run and Walk at Columbia Point Marina

The races (or walks) begin at 9 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with more things planned than any Pooch and Pal event before.

RICHLAND, Wash. — Pooch and Pal, Pet Overpopulation Prevention’s (POPP) annual fundraiser and 5k kicks off Saturday morning.

Chelsea Houck, on the Pet Overpopulation Prevention Board said the event will be festival-style, with music from a DJ, over a dozen booths, puppy painting and more.

Not only is there a lot more to do this year, but there’s also an important reason POPP is looking for support.

POPP is a local nonprofit that focuses on adoption, fostering, low-cost spay and neutering services, as well as services to help low-income eligible families. Houck said the local shelters could use all the help they can get.

“They’re turning away animals, and if we get ahead of the problem, it could definitely make a difference,” said Houck.

“The theme this year is who’s your hero so what we really wanted was for folks to come dressed up as their favorite heroes. This can be either a superhero, a nurse, a doctor, it could be your mother, your grandmother, whoever is your hero,” Houck said.

Not only can people dress up for the themed event, but animals are encouraged to dress up as well.

The Pooch and Pal festivities kick off at Columbia Point Marina in Richland. The first race begins at 9 a.m. and the second at 9:30 a.m.

Houck said online registration is open until Saturday morning at 7:55 online. You can also register at Columbia Point Marina in person before the races.

Howard Amon Park is the turnaround point for the 5k. Houck said there are goodie bags at the end of the race.

READ: POPP plans to transform dental office into spay and neuter clinic