Dog walkers across the country

By Brenna Koonce

June 13, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 3:16 AM CDT

TAZEWELL CO., Ill. -- Kait and John Seyal, joined by their two therapy-certified dogs, Max and Grace, are walking coast to coast to raise awareness.

Kait Seyal said, "We're walking to promote pet therapy and animal rescue."

Their journey brings them to Tazewell County this week where they are receiving a lot of encouragement.

"Even people that we only cross paths with on the sidewalk are getting something out of meeting us. I think we're inspiring people and they're inspiring us right back to keep doing what we're doing," John Seyal said.

"To see somebody going across the country like this bringing awareness to animals and what they can do for's amazing." said Judy Smith, who is impressed by what they're doing.

The team will be stopping at different facilities in the area, such as hospitals and nursing homes, to show the joy these dogs can share.

"Dogs have the ability to reduce stress, speed healing, lower blood pressure, release endorphins, it's really really good for people to be around dogs," Seyal said.

The trip is about 3,400 miles altogether, and the couple just reached their 1,000 mile mark a couple days ago all while taking care of themselves but most importantly, their dogs.

"As we walk, the dogs are definitely our first priority. If they need a break, we take a break, if it's too hot for them, we stop. On a long enough timeline, people actually have far more endurance than a dog does so we do everything we can to be sensitive to their needs, said Seyal.

The couple will walk around 20 miles a day and they hope to reach their final destination of San Francisco by Thanksgiving.

For information on donating to the cause or to track their journey, you can visit

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