Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog Achieves Tail-wagging Success to Benefit Priority 4 Paws Shelter Medicine Program

Friday, November 3, 2023

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Dog Jog participants pass the solar system installation on Purdue's campus
The Dog Jog route took runners and their canine counterparts past landmarks on the south side of the Purdue campus.

If you happened to be on the Purdue University campus near the College of Veterinary Medicine on the morning of Saturday, September 23, you were certainly in for a treat. The 2023 Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog 5K was held at the conclusion of the Purdue Veterinary Conference that day and featured 111 human runners and close to 60 furry companions, including four adoptable dogs from a local animal shelter. Equally significant, the race raised some $3,000 to support Priority 4 Paws, the college’s shelter medicine program that provides high-quality medical and surgical care for shelter animals while educating the next generation of veterinarians.

This year’s race was coordinated by co-chairs Allison Holahan and Morgan Watkins, of the DVM Class of 2025, Elliot Westrich, of the DVM Class of 2026, and first-year veterinary student Dalton Whitehead.  Together, they arranged all the details of the event with aid from the PVM administration. “We know how important the Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog is to the Purdue Veterinary Medicine family, so we worked hard this year to make sure that it was a positive experience that could bring our entire community together,” Elliot said.

Two female participants and a Golden Retriever companion walk past the Small Animal Hospital on their way to the finish line.
The Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog looped past the David and Bonnie Brunner Small Animal Hospital as more than 100 people and 60 dogs completed the course, which started and ended in front of Lynn Hall.

The day of the race yielded an incredible volunteer turn out from both the College of Veterinary Medicine and some undergraduate organizations, including A Cause for Paws. Sponsors included SAVMA Purdue (Purdue chapter of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association), National Veterinary Associates (NVA), McAffee Animal Hospital, Doppler Veterinary Network, Pet Wellness Clinics, and Coyne Veterinary Services. Fleet Feet Sports in West Lafayette donated gift cards to the top four winners.

Representatives of two local animal shelters, Natalie’s Second Chance Dog Shelter and the Humane Society for Greater Lafayette, also came to the race this year. Natalie’s Second Chance brought the four adoptable dogs, and all of them participated in the race, joining with humans to form human-canine pairs. “We were very happy to have shelter dogs in the race again this year and hope to invite more next year,” Allison said.

The race began and ended in front of Lynn Hall, near the Continuum sculpture, with Dean Willie Reed giving the starting command, and a running clock at the finish-line displaying the times of the participants as they completed the course. Prizes were given to the top finishers. Congratulations to each of the award winners!

Top Two Canine and Human Pairs:

  • Michael Zenzola, a Purdue student in civil engineering, and his canine companion finished the course with a time of 24:22
  • Kevin Oliver, a Purdue staff member in Capital Program Management, and his canine counterpart crossed the finish line with a time of 28:46

Top Female Overall:

  • Kristy Parker, of the DVM Class of 2027, completed the race with a time of 22:11

Top Male Overall:

  • Paul McDonald, of the DVM Class of 2025, finished the race with a time of 18:41
Paul and his dog join Dean Reed, Betty, and Allison on the front steps of Lynn Hall to receive his recognition and gift card
Paul McDonald, running with his dog, crossed the finish-line first and was honored as the fastest male participant by Dean Willie Reed, Dr. Skip Jackson’s widow Betty Jackson, and race co-chair Allison Holahan.
Kristy is joined by Dean Reed, Betty, and Allison on the steps of Lynn Hall to receive her gift card
Kristy Parker, of the DVM Class of 2027, took top honors as the fastest woman in the race, running with her canine companion.
Kevin and his black and white dogs stand alongside Dean Reed, Betty, and Allison on the steps of Lynn Hall to receive his recognition and gift card
Kevin Oliver and his dogs were recognized for completing the course as the second-fastest human-canine pair.

Thank you to all who volunteered at this year’s race and donated to the cause!

Professional photos of the Dog Jog are available to view with free digital downloads sized for social media (or prints available for purchase) at the Ed Lausch Photography website. Click here to access the 2023 Dog Jog photo gallery. The password for the gallery is: 2023PVM.

Writer(s): Madeline Brod, communications intern | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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