Calling all dog lovers, or those who simply want to lend a hand (or paw) to a great cause.
The annual Bark in the Park event will take place at 11 a.m. May 12 at Springfield Lake. The annual pledge walk and pet exposition benefits both the Pawsibilities organization and the Humane Society.
“It is a family oriented event with games and activities for dogs and children,” said Heather Kinaitis, the Humane Society’s special event and volunteer coordinator.
The event is designed to give everyone plenty to do – even those who are not participating in the walk.
Last year's event drew about 1,000. Between 1,200 to 1,400 attendees (and their animals) are expected this year.
Organizers hope the Bark in the Park event will raise over $30,000 this year.
The event benefits homeless animals in Summit County, including pets that are abused, neglected, abandoned or injured, along with assisting the humane officers in investigating cases of animal cruelty and help in providing important educational and outreach programs to the community.
Registration is the day of the event at 11 a.m. or online at www.summithumane.org. The cost to participate is $5 per person and children under 12 are free. There is no charge for pets.
“We challenge each walker to raise $100,” Kinaitis said. “Those who raise the amount will receive a 2012 Bark in the Park T-shirt and a bandana for their pet.”
The schedule for the day includes a variety of family activities including contests, demonstrations, music, plenty of pet- related vendors and food for sale. Everyone in the family will have fun.
Pawsibilities and HSGA will offer a pet micro-chipping booth where attendees can get their pooches micro-chipped for a low price of $35. This year Bark in the Park will feature a Kid's Zone and plenty of activities for the younger crowd.
“We will have a DJ, K9 police demonstration, doggy ice cream eating contest and raffle items,” Kinaitis said. There are also raffle items and dogs up for adoption.
“We're excited to host the event for the third consecutive year,” said Director of the Senior/Community Center for Springfield Township, Bobby Dinkins.
“It's great to see how the event has grown the past two years. It's a really fun day on the lakefront getting to see the pet owners and all the types of dogs that come together for such a great cause,” he said.
Dinkins also said it is a nice kickoff to the summer season of activities on the lakefront.
“Bark in the Park is important to our organization because it is one of our largest fundraising events and also attracts visibility throughout Summit County,” said Kinaitis.
She said that the mission at the shelter is to rescue and rehabilitate abused, abandoned and neglected animals of Summit County.
Page 2 of 2 - Once they have been cared for, the animals are placed in good homes.
The organization also investigates and prosecutes animal cruelty while striving to set a standard of excellence and leadership in animal care, humane education and progressive animal welfare programs for the community.
Don't miss out on a day at the lake with man's best friends. For more information on Bark at the Park and the Humane Society, visit www.summithumane.org and search for the Bark in the Park link under the events tab.