Dogs and Joggers Return in 2022 to Continue Beloved Purdue Veterinary Conference Tradition

Friday, July 29, 2022

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two participants of the dog jog with their dog
Participants in the 2019 Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog enjoy the opportunity to take a trek around the Purdue campus with their favorite canine companion.

What scene could be more heartwarming than dozens of runners and their canine companions embarking on a 5k Fun Run/Walk on a Saturday morning in front of Lynn Hall at the conclusion of the Purdue Veterinary Conference?  Next month, for the first time since the pandemic, that scene once again will come to life as faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the local community, and their dogs, participate in the Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog.

Organized by Purdue Veterinary Medicine students, the event, to be held Saturday morning, September 24, in front of Lynn Hall, will raise funds for two programs, PetSafe and Priority 4 Paws, while offering people and their canine companions an opportunity to get exercise and participate in some friendly competition for a chance to win prizes and a place in the history of the Purdue Veterinary Conference’s longest-running event.  The Fun Run/Walk is named in honor of Dr. Horace (Skip) Jackson, PVM professor emeritus of veterinary physiology and biochemistry.

“After a two-year hiatus, we’re so happy to host the Dog Jog again,” said veterinary student Hannah Wedig of the DVM Class of 2024, who is one of the event co-chairs.  She added, “It’s a long-standing, beloved event that supports a very important cause: ensuring the well-being of people and other animals. It’s a great way for people to embrace their health, community, and love of dogs.”

The two programs supported by the event are focused on meeting needs in the community related to the human-animal bond.  PetSafe is a community service offered by the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine to meet the short-term housing needs of pets whose owners are temporarily unable to provide care. Priority 4 Paws (P4P) is a shelter medicine program providing surgical services free-of-charge to participating Indiana animal shelters.

Dean Reed gives some participants a ride in a golf cart
Dean Willie Reed gives Dr. Skip Jackson a lift along with his wife and PVM alumnus and longtime Dog Jog participant and supporter Dr. Larry McAfee during the 2019 Dog Jog.

Hannah also emphasized that the Dog Jog involves another heartwarming component.  “Local shelters will be bringing adoptable dogs that people can run/walk with at the Dog Jog,” Hannah explained. “In previous years, many of those canine participants found their forever homes within weeks after the race!” 

Sharing the responsibility of organizing this year’s event are Hannah’s fellow co-chairs, veterinary students Allison Holahan and Morgan Watkins, both of the DVM Class of 2025, and Maxine White, of the DVM Class of 2024.  Among their biggest needs at this point are sponsors for this year’s event.  Click here for more information about becoming a Dog Jog sponsor.

Going forward, funding help is on the way for future Dog Jogs, as a result of a major milestone achieved this year.  Thanks to the generosity of long-time event participants and supporters, as well as Dr. Jackson’s own family, plans to create an endowment to help support future Dog Jogs came to fruition.  Dr. Jackson’s son, Dr. Mark Jackson, and alumnus, friend and long-time race participant and sponsor Dr. Larry McAfee (PU DVM ’73), led the way in establishing the Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog and Fun Run Endowment in order to provide support for the race in perpetuity.

PVM Chief Development Officer Tanya Finkbiner said Drs. Jackson and McAfee were instrumental in the success of the endowment drive, calling on family, friends, and former race participants to assist in supporting the fund. As a result of the Jackson family’s final push at the beginning of 2022, the endowment reached its $25,000 mark in time for Dr. Skip Jackson’s 99th birthday on April 14. “Dr. Mark Jackson and his wife Lisa drove all the way from Texas to Indiana to present a letter from Dean Reed as a birthday present celebrating the establishment of the endowment,” Tanya shared.  With the endowment in place, earnings generated will be used to support future Dog Jogs.

Tanya adds that it’s not too late to contribute additional funds to the endowment.  Click here to make a gift directly to the Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog and Fun Run Endowment and/or to Pet Safe, Priority 4 Paws or other related funds.

Click here for more information about the Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog and to register.  Click here for additional information about the 2022 Purdue Veterinary Conference September 20-24. 

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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