MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2009) – One of Calder Race Course’s miniature horse mascots, Lightning, will make her third annual appearance at the “Purina Walk for the Animals” on Saturday, February 21 from 9 a.m. to noon in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park. The event is a significant fundraiser for the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Lighting’s presence always attracts a lot of attention to the event and helps encourage donations for the Humane Society.

Entertainment starts at 9 a.m. and includes a kids’ corner with interactive games, K-9 demonstrations, Paw Art, face painting and businesses promoting animal products and welfare. The Humane Society also offers reduced rate micro-chipping onsite. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman serves as Grand Marshall with University of Miami President Donna Shalala serving as the “Leader of the Pack.”

The Pet Walk – a one-mile stroll for both animals and their people – begins at 10 a.m. Every dollar raised from the walk goes to sheltering up to 200 dogs and cats daily and to supporting community programs for low cost spaying/neutering, quality adoptions, humane education and pet therapy.

As part of the festivities, Lightning will be on hand to greet pets and their owners and pose for pictures with spectators. Spectators are encouraged to bring cameras to take pictures. Also, Lightning will join dogs and fundraising teams on part of the pet walk and she will be recognized in the program.

The event will mark Lightning’s last appearance before her retirement as a mascot from Calder Race Course. Lightning and her fellow mascot, Thunder, have been mascots for nine years at Calder. Throughout those years, the Mini Mascots, as they are affectionately known, have made a lot of friends and fans while educating the public about horses. Their appearances have supported many charities and animal-related organizations along with educational programs throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Bayfront Park is located at 301 North Biscayne Boulevard, Miami and parking is available in general downtown parking lots, parking garages and metered street parking. Organizers of the event encourage obedient, leashed, licensed and vaccinated dogs over 6 months old to attend. Also, dogs only (sorry, no cats).