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Frequently Asked Questions

For general information about the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party, including our event and entertainment schedule, location and registration fees, please visit our Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party website.

*IMPORTANT UPDATE* We’ve been carefully monitoring weather conditions for the weekend of our Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party. The 5K and Dog Jog are rain or shine events and scheduled to occur as planned on Saturday (10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, respectively).  As forecasts of heavy rain are worsening, we have made the decision to reschedule the free Block Party, Marketplace and Little Paws Fun Run portions of the event for Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Fortunately, many of the Block Party’s key elements have the flexibility to shift to Sunday Afternoon, including our wonderful band, Sold Separately. 

  • Live music from Sold Separately
  • Tito’s and Brown Distributing serving adult beverages
  • Food trucks
  • Local artisans and vendors
  • Kids’ Fun Zone
  • Little Paws Fun Run at 2 p.m.
  • Pets’ Fun Zone
  • Prize wheel and raffle 

What is the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party?
The 22nd Annual Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party is a day full of fun for the whole family – including your four-legged friends! All net proceeds benefit the pets awaiting homes at the Richmond SPCA as well as our crucial programs to support pets and the people who love them. The day’s activities consist of a competitive, timed 5K, a Little Paws Fun Run, a leisurely 1-mile Dog Jog, our outdoor marketplace, which includes both Kids’ and Pets’ Fun Zones, and our Block Party featuring live music, entertainment, beer/wine and much more.

When and where is the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party?
All in-person events take place at the Richmond SPCA’s Robins-Starr Humane Center at 2519 Hermitage Road on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The 5K begins at 10 a.m. The Little Paws Fun Run starts at 11 a.m. The Dog Jog begins at 11:30 a.m. and is followed by our Block Party. The outdoor marketplace begins at 9:30 a.m. For our full schedule of events at the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party and information about our location, please visit our event information section of our website.

What will the money raised support?
All net proceeds directly support the lifesaving programs at the Richmond SPCA. Each year, we save about 4,000 pets through rescue, recovery and adoption. In addition, we serve thousands of pets and people through programs like our pet pantry, behavior helpline Smoky’s Spay & Neuter Clinic and our low-cost Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital. 

What if it rains?
Don’t even say it! The Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party is a rain-or-shine event, and there is no scheduled inclement weather date. Because this is an important fundraiser that the Richmond SPCA depends upon to support the care of homeless animals, it is not our policy to issue refunds to participants who are unable to attend.

Will the Richmond SPCA’s retail shop and adoption center be open?
Yes. Our retail shop and our adoption center will open at 11 a.m. on the day of the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party.

Will food and drinks be available for purchase?
Yes. Food trucks will attend our outdoor marketplace.

When can I pick up my bag, bib number and T-shirt?
Pre-registered Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party participants may drop off donations and pick up their bags, bib numbers (5K participants only) and T-shirts in our drive-thru packet pickup on Monday, March 18 from noon to 6 p.m. or on Tuesday, March 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the front parking lot at the Richmond SPCA (2519 Hermitage Road). We encourage participants to pick up their packets in advance if possible to avoid lines and reduce congestion in the registration area on the day of the event.

You may pick up packets on behalf of team members or friends. No special ID will be required, but we will ask you to sign your name by their name on the registration list, stating that you picked up their materials. If you are a team captain and plan to pick up bags and T-shirts for your entire team, please notify us in advance by emailing and don’t forget to let your team members know so that they don’t also try to pick up their materials.

Where should I park?
Parking is free at The Diamond at the Green and Pink lots. The lots are a short walk (about 2 city blocks) from the Richmond SPCA. As you exit the lot on Hermitage Road, turn right, and you will see the Richmond SPCA. There will be handicapped parking available at the Richmond SPCA. If you need handicapped parking, please contact Laurie Mavica at so she can reserve a space for you. Please be advised that space is limited.

Questions about the Dog Jog

When should I arrive to participate in the Dog Jog?
Registered Dog Jog participants should arrive by 11 a.m. If you need to pick up your T-shirt and bag, please arrive by 10:30 a.m. Be sure to allow an extra 5 to 10 minutes to walk from the parking area on the Hermitage Road side of the Diamond (Green and Pink lots), located at the corner of Hermitage Road and Robin Hood Road. The walk is approximately 0.2 miles from our center.

What are the safety rules or requirements for participation in the Dog Jog?
The following rules are in effect during the course of the day’s activities, including the 1-mile Dog Jog:

  • One dog per person is allowed in the Dog Jog. Multiple people may walk with one registered dog, but we ask that each participant not walk more than one dog during the Dog Jog.
  • Please display ID tags on your pet’s collar and keep him or her on a short leash and under control at all times. Flexi/retractable leads are not permitted.
  • We ask that participating pets be current on vaccinations (proof not required), at least 6 months of age and not be in heat/season.
  • Please be kind to your four-legged companion and maintain a leisurely pace during the Dog Jog.

My dog (or I) cannot run a full mile. Can we still participate?
Absolutely! Most dogs and their guardians who participate prefer to walk the 1-mile loop instead of running it. We will have refreshing water stops along the way for both two-legged and four-legged Dog Jog participants. View our Dog Jog course map.

Are strollers allowed in the Dog Jog?
Stollers/baby joggers are allowed in the Dog Jog but not in the 5K. If you are strolling your child, we ask that you bring a friend or family member to walk your dog.

I want to walk in the Dog Jog in a group with a dog who is already registered, or no dog. How much does that cost?
There is no charge for an additional person to walk with a dog that is already registered. If you would like to fundraise and help us by being counted in our number of participants, we encourage you to register using our Cat Nap option, which does not include a T-shirt or bag. Our Cat Nap has no registration fee.

May I walk or jog in the Dog Jog with a pet currently in the care of the Richmond SPCA?
Thank you for wanting to include pets awaiting adoption in the fun! This registration option is open only to current Running Buddies™ volunteers who have been active in the past six months. If you would like to become a Running Buddy, please click here for more information. Active Running Buddies will receive a special code that will allow them to register to run with a dog currently in the care of the Richmond SPCA. Questions? Please contact our volunteer department at 804-521-1329.

Questions about the 5K

When should I arrive to participate in the 5K?
Registered 5K runners should arrive by 9:30 a.m. as there is a short walk to the race start line. If you need to pick up your shirt, bib number and bag, please arrive by 9:15 a.m. Please allow an extra 5 to 10 minutes to walk from the parking area on the Hermitage Road side of the Diamond (Green and Pink lots), located at the corner of Hermitage Road and Robin Hood Road. The walk is approximately 0.2 miles from the lot to our center.

Can my dog run the 5K with me?
Dogs are not permitted in the 5K for safety reasons and to allow us to have a sanctioned 5K race. We encourage those who are participating in the 5K to treat their pup instead to a leisurely 1-mile walk in the Dog Jog. If you’re participating in both events, please have a buddy there to watch your dog while you run the 5K.

What is the course like?
The 5K course is flat, fast and competitive. The race is sanctioned, chip-timed and measured according to USAT&F Standards. View our 5K course map.

May I walk the 5K?
Yes. The 5K is a competitive, timed event, but participants are also welcome to walk the course.

Are strollers allowed in the 5K?
Strollers are not allowed in the 5K. They are, however, allowed in the 1-mile Dog Jog.

May I participate in the 5K using a wheelchair?
Racing wheelchairs are permitted in the 5K, however cycles of any kind (including hand cycles) are not permitted.

When and where will the 5K finish times be posted?
They will be posted within an hour and a half of the finish of the 5K at the front entrance of Smoky’s Training Center. They will also be linked on our Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party website after the event.

Are awards given out to top 5K finishers?
Awards are given to first, second and third place overall finishers (male/female), (as well as first, second and third place finishers in each age group (male/female/non-binary, age groups are five-year increments and range from ages 5 to 75+). Learn more about the awards that will be given out this year!

Will water and snacks be available to 5K runners after the race?
Yes. We will provide bottled water and fruit for our runners and walkers.


Questions about the Little Paws Fun Run

How old do you need to be to participate?
Children ages 4 to 10 can participate.

Where will it begin and end?
The race will begin in front of the Richmond SPCA’s Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital, in which kids will travel down Rhoadmiller Street and then make a U-turn at the corner of Durham Street. The race will end in front of the Richmond SPCA. The course is roughly a half mile.

When should we arrive to participate in the 5K?
Kids should arrive by 10:15 a.m. and gather on Hermitage Road starting around 10:50 a.m., outside of the Kids’ Fun Zone.

May I participate with my child?
One parent or guardian may run with a child if they wish. The parent does not need to register.

Will the kids receive anything after completing the race?
Each child will earn a special prize for participation.

Does it cost anything to sign my child up?
No. This race is free.


Questions about the Block Party

What will the day be like?
So glad you asked! Our Block Party will kick off immediately after the completion of the Dog Jog (around noon). We will have bands, food trucks, beer and wine, an outdoor marketplace and activities for pets and kids. Our adoption center will also be open if you are looking to bring home a new family member.

What does it cost to attend?
The Block Party is FREE to attend. A $10 suggested donation will be collected at the front gates.


Questions about the Run Anywhere 5K or Dog Jog

How do I participate?
If you can’t join us in person at the Richmond SPCA on March 23, then we welcome you to participate with us from anywhere on Friday, March 22, Saturday, March, 23 or Sunday, March 24. Run, walk or jog with your dog by your side in your favorite park, trail or neighborhood streets. Participating in the Run Anywhere Dog Jog or 5K is easy and interactive, thanks to the free GPS-tracking RaceJoy app! Download the app today, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Are awards given out to top 5K finishers who participate in the Run Anywhere option?
Absolutely. In order to qualify, you must track your participation using the RaceJoy app. Each registered participant will receive an assigned bib number in their race packet, which they will enter into RaceJoy when logging in. Awards are given to first, second and third place overall finishers (male/female/non-binary) as well as first, second and third place finishers in each age group (male/female, age groups are ten year increments and range from ages 5 to 80+). Learn more about the awards that will be given out this year.

Can you provide me with more information about how to use the RaceJoy app?
Sure thing! Please visit our race timing page for more information.


Registration/Website Questions

How do I register for the 5K, Dog Jog or Little Paws Fun Run?
You may register online for any of these events at We highly encourage online registration as it conserves resources and allows more time and funds to be dedicated to our core mission. If you prefer to register offline, please contact Janae Jones at 804-521-1309. You may mail checks to the Richmond SPCA or drop them off at our front desk. Registration fees paid in cash should only be dropped off at our front desk.

Online registration for the 5K, Dog Jog or Little Paws Fun Run closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 22. After that time, you may register in person on the day of the event between 8:15 and 9:15 a.m. for the 5K, or between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. for the Dog Jog. We encourage you to pre-register for our Little Paws Fun Run so we have an accurate idea idea of how many kids will be joining us.

Do I need a ticket to attend just the Block Party?
You do not need to purchase a registration or ticket if you choose to attend only the Block Party portion of our event.

Questions about Fundraising and Donations

What is the overall fundraising goal for the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party, and how is it reached?
Our fundraising goal for the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party this year is $205,000. That goal is reached through sponsorship dollars, registration fees and donations in support of registered participants and teams.

Is there a required amount that participants must fundraise to participate?
No. Any amount that you raise will have a lifesaving impact on homeless pets in the care of the Richmond SPCA! We recommend setting your goal at $100, but there is no required amount that you must fundraise. You may set and change your goal at any time.

Not all of my donors’ names and donation amounts are showing up on the scroll mechanism on my personal fundraising page. Why?
Donors have the option to have their name and donation amount disclosed in the recognition scroll. If you do not see the name of a particular donor, they have chosen to remain anonymous.

A donor accidentally gave their donation to the event’s donation page, when it was meant to be added to my fundraising total. How can I fix this?
Please contact Laurie Mavica at or 804-521-1318, and she can easily assign the gift to the correct person or team.

Can matching gifts be applied to my fundraising total?
Yes. Gifts that you or others make to your team or individual fundraising effort may be matched by employers if they approve the match. Please check with your employer to find out if a match can be made for the gift, and to get the necessary paperwork. Copies of any matching gift paperwork may then be sent to Janae Jones at Once we are in receipt of your paperwork, we will apply the match to your total. Please be sure to make a note on the paperwork that the match is to be applied to the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party.

Are donations raised in support of my participation tax deductible for the donors?
Yes. Each donor, whether they donate online or by check or cash, will receive an email or mailed letter stating the tax deductibility of their gift. Registration fees and T-shirt purchases, however, are not tax deductible.

Why is my registration fee not showing up on the fundraising total on my personal or team page?
In order to get an accurate snapshot of donations raised in support of this event, registration fees do not count toward fundraising/donation totals. One reason for this is to level the playing field when it comes to fundraising prizes, so that small teams have an equal chance to compete for prizes as teams with many members. Another reason is that we account for registration fees separately from donations, for tax purposes, so it is important that we differentiate between the two.

I have offline donations (cash or check) that I would like to enter. How do I do that?
We will add offline donations to your fundraising total once we have received them at the Richmond SPCA. It’s a great idea to use our offline donation collection form to keep track of your offline donations. You may mail checks to the Richmond SPCA, but please drop cash donations off at our front desk. Checks can be mailed to the Richmond SPCA at 2519 Hermitage Road, Richmond, VA 23220. Cash donations can be dropped off at our front desk. Please place all donations in an envelope with your contact information on the outside in case we have any questions along with your donors’ contact information so they may be properly credited and receipted. If you have any questions, please call 804-521-1308.

Can I make a donation to a team?
Yes. Donations may be made in support of individual participants as well as entire teams. If you donate through an individual’s fundraising page and the person is a member of a team, your donation will show up as part of the team’s fundraising total as well as the individual’s.

How are top fundraisers recognized?
Our top three adult and youth fundraisers and our top fundraising teams can collect their prizes outside of Smoky’s Training Center, once 5K results are posted and fundraising totals for prizes have been tallied after the end of the Dog Jog. Incentive prizes will be provided for all participants who raise more than $250. Learn more about our top fundraiser prizes that will be offered this year!

Team-Related Questions

How do I form a team?
Have a group of friends, neighbors or co-workers who would like to participate together? Form a team with a fundraising goal and compete for great prizes! You can create a team online at Create a customized team page to communicate with your team, invite people to join, and rally the support of friends and family at!

Do donations to personal fundraising pages count towards our team’s goal?
Yes. If you donate through an individual’s fundraising page and that person is a member of a team, your donation will show up as part of the team’s fundraising total, as well as the individual’s.

I am a team captain. How do I invite people to join my team?
There are two ways to add members to your team:

1. Prospective team members may search for your team by clicking “Join an existing team” when they register and join from there, whether or not they have received an invitation from you.
2. If you have registered as an individual but would like to join an existing team, please contact Laurie Mavica at or 804-521-1318 for us to manually add you to an existing team.

Do I have to join a team?
No, you may participate as an individual or as part of a team.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of members per team?
No. A team may be as few as one person or as many as hundreds!

Is there a minimum amount that each team has to raise?
No. We encourage all team members to fundraise, but there is no minimum required.

Do all team members have to register for the same event(s)?
No. Some team members can run the 5K, some may walk the Dog Jog and some may participate in both events. Participants may also select the Cat Nap registration option to fundraise from afar if they are not able to attend the Dog Jog, 5K and Block Party in person.

How are team fundraising goals determined?
Team goals are set by the team captain and can be increased at any time.

If your question was not answered here, please email Laurie Mavica, manager of events, at or call her at 804-521-1318. Thanks!

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