This dog lover spent his birthday the only way he knows how — with his closest furry friends.
Alex Johns, a volunteer at the Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society, walked 50 dogs to celebrate his 50th on Monday.
But the occasion was more than just getting some exercise for the pups. Johns turned the event into a fund-raiser for the Ohio animal-rescue nonprofit.
“I love this,” Johns told NBC affiliate WLWT, after raising more than $11,000 for the dog shelter. “This is the reward right here.”
Johns is a weekly dog-walking volunteer for the humane society, working with two of his sisters to give the animals some exercise. The walks also teach the dogs skills that could help them get adopted, as well as rebuilding their trust with humans.
Before his Monday full of walks, he shared his fund-raising goal on Facebook: $5,000.
“I love dogs more than people,” he wrote in a post. “Not only do I get to hang out with dogs, but I can be a voice for those that cannot speak and help these animals on their adoption journey.”
While the walks get tails wagging, it also brings Johns joy to “give back to an organization that has given so much.”
He also partnered with Team de la Vega, a realtor group, that pledged to match up to $5,000 of the donations Johns raised, so the shelter will receive more than $11,000.
Johns beat his original fund-raising goal, accumulating a grand total of $6,146 as of Wednesday. In a video posted to the page, he vowed to leave the donation page open until Dec. 17 to raise as much money as possible, along with a plea to keep the shelter running.
“Is it a dollar a dog? Fifty dollars for my fifty years, or fifty dogs or both? Every penny counts,” he wrote.