Dogs dash around Marquette to celebrate Independence Day

A plethora of pups of all shapes and sizes made their way to Picnic Rocks in Marquette Friday morning.

The sixth annual Marquette Sunrise Dog Dash was put on by the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter. The dash included both a 2.5 and 1 mile walk-run for pets and owners. While the event certainly provides a bit of exercise, it also serves to help calm the canines before the hustle and bustle of Independence Day festivities begin.

“Fourth of July is always hard on dogs. Fourth of July is a great time to be around family and friends,” said UPAWS Volunteer Lynn Andronis. “This walk in the cool hours of the morning lets your pet, your dog, burn off some of the energy so that maybe the fireworks later on won’t be so hard for them.”

The Dog Dash was originally held at the beginning of Marquette’s Fourth of July parade, but event organizers moved it to the morning to help beat the heat and the noise. After walking or running to the finish lines, several of the dogs competed in a costume contest to win prizes.

“We have little plaques indicating that they were first or second place in the costume contest, and we also have items like dog bowls,” Andronis added.

The event helps raise funds for UPAWS, which began participating around three years ago.