‘Paws around the Park’ taking shape

While it may not be until September, pet owners are welcome to start collecting pledges for the “Paws around the Park” dog walk and canine carnival organized by the local Friends of the Animals.
“We’re very excited about the upcoming [event],” said Friends of the Animals chair Susan Cousineau. “It’ll definitely be the highlight and grand finale event of our fundraising season with Canada Safeway.”
In addition to the money that will be raised for the local group, participants will be able to win prizes for being the “top dog” fundraiser.
The highest pledge-getter will win a grand prize of $1,000 in travel dollars while second prize is two round-trip air fares from Winnipeg to Toronto with tickets to the live musical, “The Lion King.”
Third place will get you a weekend getaway for two via air from Fort Frances to Thunder Bay, with two nights’ stay at the Travelodge Hotel Airlane.
For the younger participants, top teens (13-17) and kids (12 and under) will get a pair of in-line skates from Skates and Blades.
“We are offering some great prizes for our ‘top-dog’ fundraisers so everyone is encouraged to get an early start on their pledges,” Cousineau said.
“It’ll be a great day of fun for the entire family, including your canine companion, of course.”
“[This event] is a great chance for people to come out and show their support for all the homeless and unwanted animals in the Rainy River District,” Cousineau added.
“We desperately need an animal shelter and all funds raised from this event will bring us one step closer to that goal.”
To be eligible for all the prizes and draws, all pledges must be collected prior to the walk, and turned in with the completed pledge form during registration on the day of the event.
“Although we encourage all dog owners to participate in the walk, we have a special invitation open to all of our Friends of the Animals alumni [those dogs adopted from Friends of the Animals].
“We think 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, Co-Co,” Cousineau remarked.
There are a few rules dog owners should remember during the upcoming walk, including:
•all dogs must be leashed and have up-to-date vaccinations and rabies shots (no aggressive dogs, please); and
•all participants are asked to practice responsible pet ownership so be sure to “stoop and scoop.”
And even if you don’t have a pet, everyone’s welcome to come out and walk anyway. If you are unable to participate in the walk, you can lend your support by sponsoring another walker or by co-sponsoring Co-Co by completing an official mail-in pledge form to the charity.
“There will be all sorts of fun events for the kids [as well as] a craft sale and lots of silly pet contests,” Cousineau said. “[We will have a] pet/owner lookalike contest, cutest canine costume, waggiest tail, quirkiest ears, silliest pet trick, largest dog, smallest dog, and a critter talent contest.”
“In Focus Photography will also be there for pet photos in the park and we’ve also lined up a Police K-9 Unit demonstration.”
“Paws around the Park” is sponsored by Canada Safeway, Border Travel, Bearskin Airlines, Nor-West Animal Clinic, and Dr. Tom Cousineau.
Pledge forms can be picked up at Canada Safeway, Nor-West Animal Clinic, Border Travel, Dr. Tom Cousineau, and Four Paws Pet Supply, or by calling 274-2144.