Paws FUR Pink host seventh annual fundraising event for breast and canine cancers

In Features, Lifestyle, Top Stories
This is a photo of three dogs who were at the event and each wore a bandana that read "Thing 1," "Thing 2" or "Thing 3."
(Yvonne Villasenor / Daily Titan)

Pups and their two-legged best friends got up and active for the seventh annual Paws FUR Pink event Sunday morning at Irvine Regional Park.

The possibility of rain in the forecast could not prevent owners and their furry pals from coming out and sporting their pink attire.

The event welcomed back seasoned participants along with new faces. Since its startup, Paws FUR Pink has raised over $111,000 for their charity partners in Orange County and San Diego. Their mission is to connect with communities and raise funds for breast and canine cancers.

At 8 a.m., the brisk air was perfect weather for dog yoga. While humans performed the downward dog and other essential poses in preparation for a 5K, their furry friends basked in the sunshine.

The park was a dog-lover’s dream: dogs of all shapes and sizes dressed in hats, tutus, bandanas and sunglasses, and vendors offered top-quality dog food and outfits.

The National Canine Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation booths offered merchandise, pamphlets and support to attendees.

Around 12 percent of women in the United States experience invasive breast cancer, according to

Shadi Shafiee, a Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation intern, said she is driven to help combat breast cancer.

“The statistics are really quite baffling when you think about it. We just want to make people aware and know that there are resources and that they have availability to medical care, especially if they don’t have insurance, so it’s the prevention as well as the treatment standpoints,” Shafiee said.

The Animal Cancer Foundation states that about 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer annually.

“We’ve lost a dog to cancer, and I know a lot of friends who have gone through it. My sister has breast cancer, so we just come out and support the cause. It’s a great way to support it,” said Jennifer Dentino, an attendee who has attended annually since 2013.

A sea of pink flooded the Irvine Regional Park trail as the 5K began. Barks and cheers could be heard as participants crossed the finish line.

Molly Babcock and her partner who won last year’s event, Koda took first place again.

Babcock was dog-sitting Koda and another dog over the weekend when their owner told her about the race. After hearing about the 5K, Babcock decided to enter.

“Funny story: I was actually running with the lead guy and Koda decided that he was going to the bathroom. I am sorry to Irvine Park for the poop that we left on the floor,” Babcock said.

Following the 5K was a mile walk, which gave dogs and humans alike a break to cool down while participants prepared for the costume contest.

Dog moms and dads ensured their fur babies were dressed to the nines as they brushed, perfectly accessorized and gave them hugs and kisses.

The first-place winner went to a Yorkshire terrier, known as Harley the Handsome Unicorn.

Harley reminded event goers of the charm that Paws FUR Pink has brought to Orange County through the assembly of four-legged friends and two-legged companions to help make a difference.

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