‘Paws Around the Park’ set to go

With an aim to top last year’s total of $7,000, local Friends of Animals members are busy preparing for the second-annual “Paws Around the Park” dog walk and canine carnival this Saturday at Pither’s Point Park.
“I think we’re ready,” said Susan Cousineau, one of the organizers.
“We know for sure there’s several people going in it. But since we won’t get the pledges in until the day of the walk, it’s hard to say how many people we’ll have,” she noted.
“But we do know the pledge sheets have gone over well at the various locations.”
Cousineau stressed the event, which saw dozens of owners and their canine companions come out last year, will go ahead rain or shine. “So dress appropriately. And remember to use a leash,” she said.
Once again, there are prize packages not only for the top three adult pledge-getters but also for the top teen (age 13-17) and kids (12 and under).
The grand prize this year is $500 in travel dollars, a $100 gift certificate for designer sunglasses, and a $50 gift certificate for a custom pet portrait.
As well, every participant raising a minimum of $50 will be eligible for prizes. For every additional $50 raised, the person has an extra chance to win.
There also will be all sorts of fun events for the entire family. For instance, the doggie contests that were such a big hit last year have increased in number.
Contest categories will be pet/owner look-a-like, cutest canine costume, waggiest tail, longest ears, best trick, largest/smallest dog, fluffiest dog, most mysterious heritage, longest tongue, best bark, and most obedient.
There also will be “critter” face-painting for the kids, complimentary morning refreshments for all participants, a charity barbecue, and a visit from “Freckles,” the “official” mascot of Friends of Animals.
New this year is a “Marvelous Mutt” Happy Hour, where your pet will get pampered with gourmet dog treats.
“We’re also hoping to receive the support of our Friends of Animals alumni [those who have adopted their dog from its adopt-a-pet program], said Cousineau. “It would be great for the community to see how these once homeless animals are now happy, healthy, and with loving homes.
“We will have a special alumni photo taken that day, plus all our alumni dogs will have the honour of leading the walk behind our mascot, ‘Willow,’” she added.
Even non-pet owners are welcome to participate in “Paws Around the Park” as Friends of Animals has several dogs in its foster care program and would love the chance for volunteers to walk them.
Event information and pledge forms can be picked up at the Nor-West Animal Clinic, Dr. Tom Cousineau’s office, Pizza Hut, In Focus Photography, Four Paws Pet Supply, and the Friends of Animals office (274-2144).
Anyone interested in donating a prize or volunteering for the event can call Cousineau at 274-1831 or the Friends of Animals office.