PAWfest teams up with dog whisperer for lake pack hikes

A year ago this month, Angie Woods created pack walks for the general public through her U.S. Canine rehabilitation center.

Often called Atlanta’s dog whisperer, Woods has been helping people better understand the most effective ways to communicate with their pets. Pack hikes were developed as part of the program last May.

“That let us kind of master it,” said Woods, a dog behavior expert who has been in the field for more than 20 years and is based in Buford. “This is our first joint venture. But I would like to do more.”

On Saturday, Woods is hoping to have Georgia’s largest pack hike — perhaps as many as 1,500 participants — as part of PAWfest at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville.

“To me, I like to see it as an educational opportunity,” Woods said. “Because we need to walk our dogs more and we need to walk more. I love the exercise component to it. I like the opportunity to teach people about walking a dog.

“I don’t know if I’ll have a microphone, but hopefully I will or someone will. Because to me, that’s what it’s about — as well as the byproduct being able to fundraise for the humane society.”

Woods and the Gwinnett Humane Society have teamed up to offer 1- and 3-mile hikes around the lake. PAWfest is an all-day event. The hike starts at 9:30 a.m. Registration is $20 or $40 for a family package. Day-of registration is $25 and $45. The fee includes a T-shirt and goodie bags (while supplies last). All proceeds benefit the Gwinnett Humane Society.

Register at www.firstgiving.com/gwinnetthumane. For more information, go to www.pawfest.com.