‘Paws Around the Park’ coming up

With only three weeks to go before dogs and their owners converge on Pither’s Point, organizers of the “Paws Around the Park” event Sept. 8 are urging participants to gather their pledges.
The Fort Frances Friends of Animals fundraiser will feature dog owners bringing their pets out for a half-hour walk around the Point after collecting pledges of support.
“It’s a great chance for people to come out and show their support for all the homeless and unwanted animals in the Rainy River District,” said Friends of Animals chair Susan Cousineau.
“We desperately need an animal shelter and all funds raised from this event will bring us one step closer to that goal,” she added.
The event will cap off a summer of fundraising by the Friends of Animals, Safeway, and other organizations for a new shelter.
Prizes will be awarded for pledges collected and turned in before the event starts, including $1,000 in travel dollars donated by the Nor-West Animal Clinic and Dr. Tom Cousineau for the person who raises the most money.
For second place, Border Travel is offering air fare for two from Winnipeg to Toronto with tickets to “The Lion King.” And for third prize, Bearskin Airlines has provided air fare for two to Thunder Bay while the Travelodge Hotel Airlane has provided the accommodations for a weekend.
For every $50 raised, participants also will be eligible to enter a draw for a number of donated prizes.
“Everyone is welcome to participate, with or without a pet. However, we do ask that all dogs be leashed and have up-to-date vaccinations and rabies shots,” said Cousineau.
The walk, open to adults and children, is slated to begin at 11 a.m., with registration running from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
There also will be a craft sale, events for children, and a number of contests, including pet/owner look-a-like, cutest canine costume, waggiest tail, quirkiest ears, silliest pet trick, largest dog, smallest dog, and a critter talent contest.
Organizers are looking for donations of craft items for the craft sale.
In Focus Photography also will be on hand to take pet photos in the park, and all participants will receive a free “doggie bag” of coffee, juice, and snacks.
Those unable to participate can show their support by sponsoring Co-Co, the “Paws in the Park” 2001 mascot, who will have the honour of leading the walk followed by Friends of Animals alumni that have been adopted.
“We think it would be great for the community to see how these once homeless animals are now happy, healthy and with loving homes,” said Cousineau.
Volunteers also are being sought to help with the activities, set up, and clean up for the event, which will take place rain or shine.
More information and pledge forms are available at Canada Safeway, Nor-West Animal Clinic, Border Travel, Dr. Tom Cousineau’s, Four Paws Pet Supply, or by calling 274-2144.