BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford has taken its fundraising efforts online, hosting a virtual walk-a-thon to raise money for the care of its animals. 

Shelter Director Laura Burban says getting creative was necessary to combat the loss of funds from canceling four of their usual events due to COVID-19. 

“That’s the amazing thing about these virtual social distancing events that we’re doing is that people can participate anywhere they are,” she explained. 

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The shelter is currently looking for business sponsors to donate money for each mile walked by the Dan Cosgrove staff and volunteers. 

Burban says that she is grateful for the support the shelter usually receives at their fundraising events and hopes it can continue even if things look a little different this year. 

She told News 8, “We’re encouraging others who normally support us for other events we sponsor and host that maybe they would like to give back and continue to help us, too.”

And for anyone looking to participate, the shelter invites you to put on your walking shoes and track those miles all of next week. 

“People can do $25 a mile, they can say ‘I’m going to do $25 and walk 5 miles,’” Bourbon said. “So whatever people can donate and whatever they feel comfortable walking is what we want them to do.” 

Donations can be made on the event’s GoFundMe page. Participants can then pick up a walk-a-thon t-shirt from the shelter and start getting those steps in. 

“It starts on Sunday of next week and it ends on Saturday and the staff’s going to do their portion of the walk on Friday,” Burban explained. 

Donations will be accepted until July 31st and Burban says that with the increased number of animals they have coming in during the pandemic, these funds will go a long way: “We’re raising money to make sure that as these animals come in, that we’re prepared to take on whatever their medical needs are.”