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FAQs

REGISTRATION

About registration fees

Registration fees can be found here. When you register you are already raising money for the animals. If you join a Best Friends network partner team, your registration fee goes directly to that organization. If you register to raise money on behalf of Best Friends, your registration fee goes directly to Best Friends.

When you register to raise money for a network partner, your registration fee can be used as a tax deduction for 2017 income tax purposes. And all donations made by individuals to participating organizations are also tax-deductible. However, when you register to raise money for Best Friends, the money you raise is still tax-deductible, but your registration fee is not because it is used to help host Strut Your Mutt and make it the fun event that it is!

If you participated by donating to one of the network partner organizations, tax receipts will be provided directly from that network partner organization. Tax receipts will be provided by Best Friends Animal Society if you participated by donating to a friends and family team or company team.

How do I register?

Simply select the event you want to register for and click “Register.”

Please be aware that you cannot register for Strut Your Mutt through the mail. You can register online or in person on the day of the event. Registering in advance will save you money.

How do I form a team?

If you attend Strut Your Mutt alone or with a friend, please register as an individual. But if you can rally a few friends or family members to join you, you can create a team that others can join.

It's more fun to strut with a team — plus there are bragging rights! Create or join a team for a chance to win one of the top fundraising awards. Recruit friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, clients, pet sitters, your vet, your groomer and anyone else you can think of who might want to participate. You might find that Strut Your Mutt is the perfect way to get a conversation started about the great work being done to save the lives of homeless pets in your community and across the country.

Your team must have five or more paid registrants in order to be eligible to win top team fundraising awards at a live event. There is no maximum number of participants on a team.

Unfortunately, you cannot raise money for an animal welfare group that has not signed up to participate in Strut Your Mutt as a Network partner. All animal welfare groups wishing to raise money through Strut Your Mutt must be approved Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network partners (or members of the Los Angeles or Utah coalitions). These groups are asked to select a team captain, submit an application that includes contact information, and sign a basic agreement.

The deadline for non-Network partner organizations to apply for partner status is September 1.

I registered incorrectly. How do I change my registration?

Please visit our Contact Us page and fill out the form. In the field that asks what you have a question about, click “Registration.” In the “Tell us more” box, describe what you would like to do, and one of our support team members will help you with your needs.

I have not preregistered for the event. Can I still register and attend on event day?

Yes, you may register on the day of the event. Just go to the on-site registration tent when you arrive. Registration on the morning of the event costs an additional $5.

Note: If you wait to register on the morning of the event, you will not have the option to join a Best Friends network partner team. So if you want to support a particular network partner, you must register and join that team online prior to the close of registration at noon on the day before the event.

FUNDRAISING

What is the refund policy for registration fees and donations?

For live events, refunds of donations and registration fees will be permitted through Friday, one week prior to each city’s event date. The following are the donation refund request cutoff dates for each Strut Your Mutt city:

  • Atlanta, Georgia - September 15, 2017
  • Austin, Texas - September 8, 2017
  • D.C. Metro - September 29, 2017
  • Houston - October 6, 2017
  • Jacksonville - September 22, 2017
  • Kanab - September 8, 2017
  • Los Angeles - October 13, 2017
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul - September 1, 2017
  • New York - September 29, 2017
  • Phoenix - October 13, 2017
  • Portland - September 1, 2017
  • Salt Lake City October 6, 2017
  • San Francisco - September 22, 2017
  • St. Louis - September 15, 2017

For Strut Your Mutt Day 2017, refunds for donations will be permitted through Saturday, October 28, 2017 (no refunds after that date). Requests for donation refunds received after applicable deadlines cannot be honored due to the effect such requests have on our fundraising contests. Participation fees will be refunded through Saturday, October 28, 2017. Any refund request must be made directly by the registrant or donor and sent to events@bestfriends.org. Refund requests must be received no later than 5 p.m. Eastern time on the deadline day, outlined above.

Registration fee refunds will be honored through the close of registration for each city, which is 12 noon the day prior to each event.

Do I have to raise funds?

You are not required to fundraise for the Strut Your Mutt event. However, Strut Your Mutt is a fundraising event, and raising money above and beyond the requested registration fee means more money for the animals.

How does a company match a donation?

A company match is an easy and effective way to increase your fundraising! Just ask people to contact their employer for the correct paperwork. If you are fundraising for a network partner organization, please ensure that you fill out a matching gift form with the organization's name and information, and follow the company's directions for submitting the form. If you have any questions, please contact the organization you are supporting.

If you are fundraising for Best Friends, please ensure that you fill out a matching gift form with Best Friends’ information and follow the company's directions for submitting the form. If you have any questions about matching gifts in support of Best Friends, please email workplacegiving@bestfriends.org.

What is the fundraising deadline for individuals or teams to be eligible for prizes and awards?

Online donations count toward top fundraising awards up to the close of registration, which is noon, the day before the event.

Offline donations in accordance with the offline donation official rules and regulations must be submitted no later than 5 p.m., Eastern time, one week before the event date. Click here to access the offline donation forms, which include more details on how to submit them to Best Friends.

Strut Your Mutt Day

Online donations will count through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, Sunday, October 31, 2017.

For Best Friends’ participant offline donations to count toward the top fundraising awards and grand prize, all offline donation forms and copies of the checks must be received by Best Friends no later than 5 p.m. Eastern time, Thursday October 26, 2017, in accordance with the official rules and regulations. Click here to access the offline donation forms, which include more details on how to submit them to Best Friends.

NOTE: All decisions of Best Friends Animal Society regarding incentive and award winners are final.

How is the money I raise used?

Best Friends uses the money to help tens of thousands of animals, both at the Sanctuary and through outreach programs all across the country. If you are raising funds for a network partner team, the money goes to support that group’s own lifesaving programs.

I would like to make a donation to a particular person or team. How do I do that?

The best way to ensure that your donation gets to the appropriate person or team is to ask for a link to their personal or team fundraising page.

You can also select the appropriate event, click on “Donate” and search for the name of the person or team. You can then select the name of the individual or team to get to that fundraising page to make your donation.

If someone makes a $15 donation, can that person participate in the event?

If someone makes a $15 (or more) donation to your fundraising page (without registering), they are considered a donor, not an event participant. Individual participants in the event must register and pay the registration fee.

I made a donation to the wrong person or team. What do I do?

Please visit our Contact Us page and fill out the form. In the field that asks what you have a question about, click “Fundraising or Donations.” In the “Tell us more” box, describe what you would like to do, and one of our support team members will help you with your needs. Please note: The change request must come directly from the person who made the error. We cannot move donations at the request of another person.

DAY OF EVENT INFORMATION

What does a typical Strut Your Mutt look like?

The Strut Your Mutt event is full of fun for everyone. The day starts with you and your dog going on a celebratory walk, the length of which varies from city to city. Each city typically offers two options — a short walk of about one mile, or a longer walk of about two miles.

There are fun activities for the entire family, including lots of exciting pet-centric activities for you and your dog. These activities are up and running you return from the walk.

On-site food trucks offer vegetarian and vegan options for human participants. You may also bring food and beverages (excluding alcohol) for your family and pets.

A variety of event sponsors and vendors, who typically give away coupons and samples and hold drawings for prizes, will be there. Be sure to stop at their booths! There will also be music, contests and other entertainment.

Parking is typically free for participants, but availability of free parking may vary by city.

For the most current information about event-day activities, sponsors, vendors, and parking, please select your event city.

What should I do on arrival?

If you registered online before the event, go to the registration check-in tent, pick up your free T-shirt and start enjoying all of the activities!

If you did not preregister online, check in at the on-site registration tent. If you plan to register on-site, we strongly recommend that you check the schedule of events in your city and arrive early to avoid the long lines. Please note: If you want your registration fee to support a network partner organization, you must preregister online.

If you are registered as a member of a friends and family or company team, we suggest you make arrangements with your team captain to determine a good meeting place. If you are a member of a network partner team, look for your team captain who will be holding an orange sign with the organization's name on it. If you don’t see your team captain, there will be a meeting area near the starting line where you will see network partner team signs.

How do I get a T-shirt?

Live events: Registered participants must pick up T-shirts at the live event. If you are unable to attend, please make arrangements for someone to pick up your T-shirt on event day at the preregistered check-in tent. We make every effort to provide the -shirt sizes requested during the online registration process; however sizes cannot be guaranteed and quantities are limited.

Online participants: T-shirts will be mailed by Best Friends to participants who would like to receive them.

What if it rains?

Strut Your Mutt is held rain or shine so please dress (both you and your pet) accordingly. Remember, registration fees are non-refundable, even in the case of rain. T-shirts must still be picked up in person on event day.

Do I have to participate in the walk, or can I just go and join the festivities and visit the vendors?

You are welcome to skip the walk and just enjoy the festival. But remember, you must register for Strut Your Mutt, whether or not you participate in the walk.

What payment methods are available for food and merchandise at the Strut Your Mutt event?

Best Friends will accept cash, checks, and debit or credit cards for Strut Your Mutt purchases. Please note: Food trucks and other vendors may require cash.

PETS AT STRUT YOUR MUTT

Are cats allowed?

Because Strut Your Mutt events are noisy, filled with dogs and children and held outdoors, we do not allow cats. This is to avoid a situation where there might be cat-reactive dogs present, a situation that can also be incredibly stressful for cats.

If you do not have a dog with you, you can walk alongside your fellow animal lovers (which gives you two free hands to pet the many adorable pooches out there). You can also offer to walk with a dog from another participating animal welfare group or shelter.

Do I have to bring a dog?

No. You do not have to bring a dog to enjoy the festival.

What do I need to know about bringing my dog to the event?

Participants are limited to bringing no more than two dogs, and we are very strict about this. Because there are tons of kids and other animals there, we don’t want anyone to be out there with more dogs than they can handle (which increases the possibility of a dog breaking free). Dogs must be at least four months old.

To help ensure the safety of the pets and people, all dogs must be kept on a maximum six-foot, non-retractable leash. Some dogs don’t behave well with other dogs or in crowds, so we also ask that everyone keep their dogs in close proximity.

Unaltered dogs are welcome unless they are in heat. Best Friends encourages you to have your dogs spayed or neutered if they are not already fixed. Spaying or neutering not only helps reduce the number of pets entering shelters, but it also can help your pet live a longer, healthier life. A large portion of funds raised at Strut Your Mutt support our network partners’ spay/neuter programs.

Poop bags will be available at several locations. You are also welcome to bring your own. We encourage all participants to be courteous and clean up after their pets. Water bowls and troughs will be placed throughout the walking route and festival area, and we will make every effort to keep them filled during the event.

We want you and your pet to enjoy this fun event — and that means keeping you both as safe as possible! We will have a veterinarian and an EMT present on event day.

Can I adopt a dog at the event?

Since the event itself is focused on fundraising and awareness, we do not promote it as an adoption event. However, we encourage participating shelters and rescue groups to bring adoptable dogs.

To help adoptable dogs stand out, they may be wearing brightly colored bandanas, vests or shirts that say “Adopt me” or “I’m looking for a home to call my own.” In most cities, we also will hold a "rescue runway" stage fashion show to showcase adoptable dogs.

VOLUNTEERING

Can I volunteer at the event??

Absolutely! Strut Your Mutt is made possible by the help of volunteers. Learn more about how you can get involved.

WEBSITE HELP

What should I do if I forget my password?

Click on “forgot password” on the participant log-in page. You will then be prompted to enter your username and email address, and password reset instructions will be sent to the email address provided.

How to I edit my Profile (including changing my password)?

Follow these simple instructions to edit your profile page or change your password:
1. Log in to your participant center.
2. Click on “profile” located at the top right of the page.
3. From there you can edit your profile to change your personal contact information, change or reset your password, or change your email preferences.

How do I edit my personal or team fundraising page?

Personal pages:
1. Log into your participant center (using your email address and password).
2. On the right side of the page, click “edit personal page.”
(Note: If you are already logged into your participant center, click on “personal page” and follow these same steps.
3. From there, you can make changes to your fundraising goal, copy and images or videos on your page. You can click “preview” to make sure you’re happy with how your page looks. And don’t forget to click “save” when you are done.

Team pages:
1. Log into your participant center (using your email address and password).
2. Click on the team page tab.
3. From there, you can edit your team’s fundraising goal and your team page’s copy and images or videos. You can click “preview” to make sure you’re happy with how your page looks. And don’t forget to click “save” when you are done.

EVENT RULES AND SAFETY

How many dogs can I bring to the event?

There is a limit of two dogs per paid registrant.

Can I bring my puppy?

For health and safety reasons, all dogs must be at least four months old.

Do I need to leash my dog?

Yes. All dogs must be on a leash with a maximum length of six feet (no retractable leashes, please). Strollers and wagons are also welcome (for both humans and dogs).

Does my dog need to wear a specific collar?

For safety reasons, we do not allow dogs to attend the event with pinch collars, choke collars or retractable leads. Regular collars or martingale collars are OK.

Sometimes my dog doesn’t like being around crowds. Can I still bring him or her?

Please use good judgement with your dog. Dogs who may be dangerous to other animals or people, or dogs too frightened around crowds should not attend. Event officials reserve the right to refuse entry to any animal.

Does my dog need to be up to date on vaccinations?

Yes. Please be sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, and your dog wears current identification and rabies tags.

My dog is not spayed or neutered. Can he or she still come?

Best Friends encourages all participants to have their dogs spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering helps reduce the number of pets entering shelters, and it can help your pet lives a longer, healthier life! Dogs in heat are not allowed at the event.

My dog has never walked with that many distractions before. What can I do to prepare?

To help your dog become familiar with walking on a leash around a lot of distractions, you may want to practice walking with your dog on trails or in parks or other locations where people walk their pets.

Can I ride my bike or rollerblade at the event?

For the safety of fellow strutters and dogs, items such as bikes, scooters, rollerblades and skateboards are not permitted.

What if my dog gets hurt while at the event?

A veterinarian and EMT will be on hand to help dogs and people in cases of injury or emergency. But to help keep your pet (and yourself) safe, be sure to drink plenty of water at the start and finish (there will be some water stations at the event). Pay close attention to your dog’s energy and stress levels and make sure your dog isn’t being dragged by the leash. Also, before and after the walk, inspect your dog’s pads for any signs of cuts or wear.

Many thanks to our presenting sponsor:
And our national sponsors:
BEST FRIENDS REGIONAL PROGRAMS:
NO-KILL PROGRAMS:
OTHER BEST FRIENDS SITES:
Charity Watch Top Rated2015 Top Rated NonprofitGuideStar Shelter Animals Count Platinum Sponsor
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