2020 Event

Paws For Brittany Event Goes Virtual

Marshfield Area Pet Shelter’s (MAPS) annual Paws for Brittany event in memory of animal lover Brittany Zimmermann normally takes place on Mother’s Day weekend. Due to COVID-19, the popular fun run and dog walk event was cancelled, but those looking to participate can still do so social-distance style, virtually.

“We encourage everyone to do a virtual walk in honor of Brittany, and we are giving participants the option of selecting a one-of-a-kind event t-shirt plus the opportunity to include a personal message for Brittany’s parents that will be shared with them,” said Karen Rau, MAPS Executive Director.

“The special part of this walk for Brittany’s family and friends is talking about Brittany and remembering her,” she added. “Sharing your personal message with her family and wearing this year’s special event t-shirt will bring us all together on a year we couldn’t physically be together.”

In collaboration with local print shop, Premier Printing, MAPS designed a custom t-shirt that will be sold through the Premier website until May 15. Proceeds from the t-shirt sales will go to support day-to-day operations at MAPS. Everyone is encouraged to order and wear their t-shirt and run or walk their dog in Brittany’s memory throughout the month of May. Then visit Paws for Brittany’s Facebook page and share your selfies walking and wearing your event t-shirt!

“We can’t gather together in person to celebrate Brittany’s life this year, but we wanted to provide everyone with an opportunity to do so while safely social distancing,” said MAPS Executive Director, Karen Rau.

“Each year at this event, we are reminded of the tragic loss to our community and what the Zimmermann family lives with every day,” she added. “Though we are separated this year, we hope that it brings some comfort to the Zimmermann family knowing people throughout the area are still walking in Brittany’s honor.”

Brittany was killed on April 2, 2008 in her downtown Madison apartment. A Marshfield native, Brittany was a 21 year-old UW-Madison student majoring in Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She lived with her fiancée and their three cats in the 500 block of West Doty Street. After twelve years of investigations, earlier this year, David A. Kahl, a 53 year-old male, was charged in Dane County Circuit Court with First Degree Intentional Homicide (as party to a crime and by use of a dangerous weapon).

Brittany was an avid animal lover and advocate. Bringing comfort to Brittany’s parents, Kevin and Jean Zimmermann, are Brittany’s three beloved cats: Marvin, Felix, and Boo.

“We have chosen MAPS to keep Brittany’s memory alive because animals were such a huge part of her life,” said Jean. “She supported many shelters herself, so it made perfect sense for us to continue this.”

MAPS is expected to move into their new facility on Downwind Drive this month. The community cat room at the shelter is dedicated to Brittany.

“We are encouraging people to support, first and foremost, MAPS, as we need this shelter to help all the animals who are abandoned and need care,” said Jean. “Secondly, to remember a girl who had a passion for animals and was taken from us far too soon.”

Purchase a t-shirt in support of the event here (by May 15, 2020).