Photo: Courtesy of Bipawtisan March

Bipawtisan March Takes Apolitical Approach to Dog March

The power of social media strikes again, this time to support a cause for paws. A group of DC dog moms who met through Instagram (their dogs’ Instagram accounts, to be more specific) are teaming up to host the first-ever Bipawtisan March this Sunday, June 4.

People and their pups (or other pets) will march side by side for a completely non-political purpose, showing that no matter what side of the aisle you stand on, the love we have for our pets transcends all political agendas. Participants in the event can choose to represent whatever beliefs and opinions they want while marching as a united group.

Co-organizer and mother of Kingston the chow chow, Renee Arellano, chatted with me over coffee about the march itself and, of course, our undeniable obsession with dogs.

On Tap: How did you and the other Bipawtisan dog moms first get together?
Renee Arellano: It went from a meet up to, “Let’s somehow have an event,” and snowballed into a march very quickly because I think we were all still riding the high from the Women’s March back in January.

OT: How long have you been planning the march?
RA: It’s been a very short planning window; we met up in March. It’s been just a few months, and we hit the ground running.

OT: Tell us about your main partner for the march, the Humane Rescue Alliance.
RA: All registration proceeds go directly to the HRA. They’re involved with not just dogs, but also cats and small animals. It’ll be a very inclusive event.

OT: What’s the local support been like so far for this first-ever event?
RA: In the beginning, you don’t really know what’s going to come of this, so it’s been amazing with all of the positive support from the pet owners in the area. The local businesses have also been so supportive.

OT: How has everything come together with the event logistics, such as sponsors and logos?
RA: Some of the organizers are graphic designers, and some know web developers. Someone’s firm was able to give us a website design. A T-shirt vendor is giving us T-shirts with our logo, which is a play on the Capitol dome. All the sponsors we’ve found have been so generous. We actually had to cap it off.

OT: How have you been trying to get the word out about the event?
RA: We had a little blurb blasted out through WJLA; that was our first shout out, so that was exciting. We also had a Fox 5 appearance on June 1. Six of us all went and did a quick morning blurb.

OT: Have you been reaching out to any politicians, or local celebrities, who are big animal advocates?
RA: We’ve been reaching out to senators, and people in Congress who we know are dog owners. We’re not trying to get political. I tweeted out to the Caps Ovie, Backstrom, Oshie and all of them because I know they do a dog calendar with Homeward Trails.

OT: You must be proud to have been a part of putting this march together.
RA: What got us really pumped was the development of our logo because if you don’t have branding, you’re going to fall by the wayside.

OT: What’s the ultimate goal of this march?
RA: We want to promote that there are so many dogs out there looking for a forever home, and you could be it. We are all marching for our own individual reasons.

OT: What are you and Kingston marching for?
RA: Kingston and I are marching to end the stigma of aggressive dog breeds, because he is a chow chow and they’re number two or three on the list of aggressive breeds.

OT: Are there any fun activities happening afterward?
RA: The march will take us to Wunder Garten in NoMa for yappy hour. We’re going to have a photo booth, pet photographers, swag bags, a food truck, and beer and wine available for purchase. We’ll also have raffle prizes from amazing sponsors that have donated.

Registration for the Bipawtisan March is $20, which includes march entry and a bandana for your pup. All proceeds go to the Humane Rescue Alliance. The event begins with a pup rally at 11 a.m., followed by the march at 11:30 a.m. and yappy hour at noon at Wunder Garten.

Bipawtisan March: Starts at the U.S. Capitol at E Capitol and First Streets in SE, DC; www.bipawtisanmarch.com

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Kayla Marsh

Kayla is a Northern VA native and graduated from JMU in 2016 with a major in media arts and design. With a background in print journalism, she writes about music, food and sometimes sports. You can find her singing in traffic, at a sports bar watching the Nats, eating tacos or live tweeting The Bachelor.