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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 1:33 pm | Fair 66º


Zombies Glow in Santa Maria Valley in Race to Help Homeless Animals

4th annual fun run raises funds for medical care and other services for shelter dogs, cats, bunnies and even horses


Dressed in elaborate costumes or just regular running clothes, youths, adults and even dogs crossed the starting line with enthusiasm at the Zombie Glow Run on Saturday in the Santa Maria Valley.

The fourth annual event held in front of the Santa Maria Animal Center, 548 W. Foster Road, raised money for the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation. Before the start of the 5K run/walk the festivities got started with activities like human and canine costume contests.

“It’s going great,” said organizer Jordanna Rea, a director with the Animal Care Foundation. “We have a great turnout and a lot of happy people. It’s definitely for a great cause.”

The event featured special guest Shorty Rossi, from the Animal Planet TV show Pit Boss and a pit-bull advocate, who judged the costume contests, where one dog was decked out as Harry Potter.

Rossi brought his message of awareness about the pit-bull breed while letting people socialize with the dogs and see that they aren’t vicious.

“Basically I want people to be aware,” said Rossi, who also promotes spay and neuter programs.

Although his visit to Santa Barbara County came days after his beloved, Hercules, died, Rossi vowed to continue touting the message about the breed on behalf of his fallen four-legged friend.

Before and after the run, live music by the band Nothing But Trouble entertained the crowd with members served Taco Man Express.

Prior to hitting the course, runners and walkers received some motivation from Caesar Hernandez, or Coach C from Life Purpose Boot Camp.

“Are you all ready to face some zombies and have a good time?” he asked the crowd at the start of warmups.

This year’s event featured a new route, including through a remote area of Santa Maria Public Airport property.

“I’m hoping the participants absolutely love this route,” Rea said.

Participants encountered zombies along the route to provide fun.

“This is not a scare run,” Rea added.

Proceeds from the event go toward the Animal Care Foundation’s mission to pay for medical costs of injured and ill homeless dogs, cats, bunnies and horses at the shelter.

“Our firm belief is doing a fundraiser like this certainly helps to be able to provide for those animals that had to have medical services or other services that they need and pay for it,” Rea said.

“We really do believe that no that animal should be euthanized because (no one) can afford to pay for their surgery or the services that they need.”

The Animal Care Foundation also has spay and neuter services along with programs to educate youths. Click here for more information, or click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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