Gold passes for pooches to enter city oasis again

Following last year’s successful “mini” Million Paws Walk, raising funds for animals in RSPCA South Australia’s care, Adelaide’s Botanic Garden is opening its gates as the venue for this year’s main event.

It will take place on Sunday 28 May, with the first walkers – two and four-legged – setting off at 9am. The date coincides with Botanic Gardens Day, an annual celebration in Australia and New Zealand of the work done within botanical gardens to conserve plants for future generations.

The event is being officially launched at 11am this morning, with Hollywood star and RSPCA SA ambassador Teresa Palmer among people and their dogs giving the trail a test run. RSPCA SA’s CEO Marcus Gehrig praised last year’s participants for paving the way for the much-loved annual fundraiser to return to Adelaide’s iconic city garden.

“We really wanted to be invited back, but that all hinged on how these precious gardens coped with the sudden influx of dogs and their owners,” Mr Gehrig said.

“Everyone seemed to understand the privileged access they were enjoying, and did the right thing in terms of sticking to the paths, keeping their dogs under control….and, of-course, having poo bags at the ready!

“We had about 400 come along for what was a last-minute event, and this year we hope we see around 1000 people and their pooches turn up.”

Participants can choose between two sign-posted 1.8km or 3.1km walks, both starting from the Garden’s Conservatory Gate located off Plane Tree Drive. Participants can join in anytime between 9:00am to 12noon. A Million Paws Walk Village in Botanic Park (opposite the Garden, on Plane Tree Drive) will have food and festivities to enjoy before and after doing the walk. Tickets for all humans attending can be purchased online at – (Early Bird 20% discount for anyone who signs up before midnight on 11 April.)

Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium director Michael Harvey said the Garden’s team was excited to partner with the RSPCA again for what is the charity’s main annual fundraising event.

“The kinds of people who value animal welfare often also value nature conservation, so an event combining both these important causes is something our team wholeheartedly supports,” Mr Harvey said.

“For some people, and certainly for their beloved dogs, it will be their first time experiencing the beauty and tranquillity inside these walls, and the autumn colours in May are truly spectacular.

“Giving people the opportunity to visit the gardens with their canine friends once again is a very special experience and something not available for the rest of the year.

“We hope walk participants feel inspired to visit the gardens again and again, to enjoy the seasonal changes and all the well-proven health benefits derived from time spent in nature.”

RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk is a national campaign and is taking place at 35 locations around the country. RSPCA SA currently has 1229 animals in care at its shelters or in supported foster care. All care costs are funded by donations from the community.

“We definitely need a funding boost, especially ahead of the high-demand winter months….we encourage every participant to share their fundraising page with family and friends so they, too, can contribute to care costs for our state’s most vulnerable animals,” Mr Gehrig said.

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