Usually, your birthday is a day to spoil yourself. For an Ohio man celebrating his big 5-0, this year’s birthday was all about treating shelter dogs.
Alex Johns, a realtor by trade and a volunteer for the Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society, dedicated his whole 50th birthday to walking dogs. Celebrating 50 years, he walked 50 dogs on December 6th, 2021.
A Birthday Present In Itself
Prior to the big day, Johns created a Facebook fundraiser, encouraging friends, family, community members, and strangers to contribute to his mission. The page description states:
“You probably know by now that I love dogs more than people. This is why I volunteer to walk dogs weekly at Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society with two of my three sisters. Not only do I get to hang out with dogs, but I can be a voice for those that cannot speak and help these animals on their adoption journey.”
The fundraising walk started at 9am Monday morning. While Johns got an extra-long workout, 50 dogs got to enjoy some time outside being social. Though he was tired by the end of the day, it was a great way to spend a birthday.
As Johns wrote on his fundraiser page:
“Walking a shelter dog allows them to exercise, teaches them skills that many look for in a potential adoption, and helps them build upon trust in people that they may have lost … not to mention what it does for me. I have found great joy out of this work and want to give back to an organization that has given so much.”
As for requesting donations to the animal shelter over gifts for his birthday, this was a no-brainer for Johns.
“It’s a blast, I love this, this is the reward right here,” he told WLWT.
A Big Gift From The Birthday Boy
Team De La Vega, the realtor group Johns and his wife, make up, sponsored a match of up to $5,000 in donations (meaning they would personally match every dollar up to 5,000.) The Facebook fundraising page brought in $6,961. So, in the end, Johns raised close to $12,000 in donations for the shelter on his birthday.
In addition to the valuable funds donated, this selfless gesture raised awareness of the Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society, which is often at capacity. Volunteering at your local shelter is a valuable way to spend your time, and fostering, in particular, helps the animals thrive and gets them out of their kennels until they can be adopted.