30,000 rubber duckies were released into the Truckee River on Sunday all for the love of animals.
The Nevada Humane Society held its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Duck Race and Festival, this past Sunday. The concept of the event is simple: pay five dollars to adopt a duck, set it loose in the river, and hope it finishes first.
The money earned from duck adoptions is then used by the Nevada Humane Society to care for homeless pets. And the owner of the winning duck walks away with a prize.
This year, hundreds of people lined the shores of the Truckee River in Reno to cheer on their ducks and witness the incredible sight. A large truck dumped all 30,000 rubber duckies into the river at one time.
Over 22,000 of those ducks had been "adopted," or bought, which exceeded last year's record. In total, the rubber ducky race raised nearly $110,000 for the Nevada Humane Society; a sum that will go a long way when caring for the dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and all the other pets currently housed in animal shelters across the state.
The Nevada Humane Society has been a no-kill shelter since 2007. In the past nine years, they've found forever homes for over 70,000 pets. That number wouldn't be possible, however, without the proceeds generated from fundraising events like the Duck Race & Festival.
While the race was the main event, animal lovers and Humane Society supporters also gathered in the park to enjoy food trucks, live music, carnival games, raffles, swimming in the river, and much more. It was a day of fun centered around one goal: helping animals in need.
Kimberly Wade of the Nevada Humane Society told My News4,
"The fact that people are coming out, they're learning who we are, what we do, and they're adopting first. That means a lot to us. That says that this community is really great at stepping up for the homeless animals in our community."
This year, the prevailing duck owner drove away in a new Toyota Corolla. A Vegas vacation was awarded to the runner up, and other participants also won prizes including a balloon race experience and a pampered pet package.
The real winners of the rubber ducky race, however, are the animals that will benefit from the generous donations.