WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Briarcliff-based SPCA of Westchester's annual Walk and Pet Fair on Saturday, May 3 at FDR Park in Yorktown will feature a real Champ.
Champ, a rescue dog, will serve as SPCA grand marshal and lead the dog walk, which begins at 10 a.m. In January, the 3-month-old pitbull was rushed into the SPCA after being found by police abandoned in an apartment and suffering from a blunt force trauma to the head.
The SPCA said Champ's face was so severely swollen that they couldn't tell if he had eyes. Despite all the pain he endured, the SPCA said Champ continued to wag his tail and show affection. He recently underwent two surgeries and was adopted by the McClures, a Yorktown family.
Actor Chevy Chase and his wife, Jayni, who live in Bedford, will also be on hand at the event. Lisa Bonanno of the SPCA said they are hoping to raise $100,000.
"We are really excited for this event," Bonanno said. "The money from these events keeps us going. Money goes to supporting our law enforcement programs, we get no government funding for that."
Bonanno said the event is open to all animal lovers and there are activities for the whole family both two and four legged.
"It's fun to just bring your dog," Bonanno said. "We have all these picnic areas. It's just a really nice outing for the whole family."
The SPCA will also be showcasing some of its dogs that are looking for a new home. Bonanno said she enjoys being reunited with dogs that were adopted from the SPCA.
"There is just so much to do and take part in at this event," Bonanno said.
Bonanno said having someone like Chase get involved helps bring attention to their cause.
"People really look up to him," Bonanno said. "It's a draw for people to come and maybe get to meet him for a minute or two. The Chases have four dogs and are very community oriented."