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Every dog has its day at Bark in the Park

By Caitlin Rickard [email protected] • May 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM

The dog days of summer aren’t over; they’re just beginning.

The annual Bark in the Park fundraiser is again calling all four-legged friends and is set to return this weekend as dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds are invited to attend.

Now in it’s 14th year, the event benefitting New Leash on Life expects hundreds of people and pooches and will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the James E. Ward Ag Center in Lebanon.

“Bark in the Park has something for every member of the family—from dog contests to cool activities for the kids, great food, awesome shopping opportunities and information about New Leash on Life and other great animal-related organizations,” said Angela Chapman, chair of New Leash on Life’s Board of Directors. 

Chapman coordinates the event along with board members Sue Tompkins, Dawn Hall and Colette Lanham-Stoffell.

The day’s festivities will feature numerous activities, vendors and giveaways enjoyable for dogs and owners alike.

Pet owners and their pooches can look to spend the day at the fairgrounds playing on doggie obstacle courses, sitting for cartoon portraits or getting their paw prints framed, shopping and snacking at dozens vendors to raise funds for New Leash on Life, and much more.

“The event has become a family affair for us, as well as many of our vendors,” said New Leash on Life Executive Director Amy Haverstick. “My husband, Mike, comes out each year and puts the fence up, which is done to keep our guests’ dogs and those available for adoption safe so if a dog gets off his or her leash, we have a bit of a barrier.”

One of the most popular activities at Bark in the Park each year is the contest segment, and this year will be no different. Kicking off the competition will be a best trick contest at noon, followed by a costume contest at 12:45 p.m. and an owner/dog look-alike contest at 1:30 p.m. It is $2 for each contest entry.

There will also be an official photographer, as well as paw print art, a new sand table for children, an adoption center and a silent auction, along with much more.

“None of this would be possible without our wonderful sponsors, so please, say ‘Thank you,’ when you see one of the folks associated with them,” Chapman said.

Admission to the event is a $5 donation for adults; children and dogs get in free. All dogs should be on a leash at all times.

Funds raised from the event are set to help with an array of animal welfare programs available at New Leash on Life, including spay and neuter, wellness and adoption programs and various other emergency needs that come up when New Leash on Life rescues animals from different harmful situations.

“We hope to see everyone on Saturday,” Haverstick said. “And cross your paws for no rain!”

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