Pet event benefits dog rescue, training centerPets and people will hoof and woof their way around McElroy Park Sunday as part of the community-wide dog walk, Bark in the Park.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Pets and people will hoof and woof their way around McElroy Park Sunday as part of the community-wide dog walk, Bark in the Park.
“It’s kind of a doggy, four-legged-friend event,” said Shelley Nannenga, development director with Service Dogs for America in Jud, N.D.
Proceeds from Bark in the Park will be split between Service Dogs for America and Prairie Paws Rescue, with a match of up to $2,500 from Modern Woodmen.
Prairie Paws Rescue retrieves pets in unsuitable or dangerous situations and provides help placing them in suitable homes, while providing them with medical services they need.
Service Dogs for America trains dogs that assist people who have mobility difficulties and people who live with disabilities, as well as medical emergency response dogs and therapeutic companion dogs.
The event will feature three different routes, with the shortest walk being approximately 1 mile, and the longest being about a mile and a half. The longest route — the one that leads to Pepper’s Dog Park — is also the most challenging, with the most hills.
“We had walkers go out and walk their dogs. They literally did paws-on walking with the trails,” said Kaye John, co-founder of Prairie Paws, another event organizer.
Registration for the walk will be from noon to 1 p.m. at the Sertoma Shelter area at McElroy Park. It will cost $15 for individuals and $25 for a family, which includes a meal of bratwurst or hot dogs, donated by Hugo’s.
The walk begins at 1 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the largest dog and smallest dog at the event, as well as the best trick, best tail wag and an owner/pet lookalike contest. The walk will also serve as a poker run, with vendors offering playing cards that, should they make a good poker hand, might win the collector a prize.
If walking isn’t your canine’s favorite occupation, many other events will take place in McElroy Park on Sunday afternoon.
Demonstrations of pet first aid and CPR will be given by Beth Dewald, executive director for the Buffalo Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Service Dogs of America will show off some of its dogs’ skills, demonstrating what it takes to be a service dog.
The Minot Agility Group will show some canine agility demonstrations.
In addition, between 15 and 20 vendors will be at Bark in the Park, an eclectic mix of people selling items and offering information on pet and non-pet-related topics.
“It’s more or less a day for the family at a reasonable price,” John said.
There’s still room for more vendors, who are charged nothing for space at the event, and John can add them up through Saturday, she said, adding that food vendors would be especially appreciated.
John is also seeking volunteers for the event, whether it’s people willing to keep water stations along the trails filled or helping out with registration and directing foot traffic.
She is also accepting donations for door prizes and sponsorships for the event.
“It is open to not only dog walkers, but everyone in the community, even if you don’t have a dog,” John said.
People without dogs can borrow a Prairie Paws dog for the afternoon if they wish, and provided they are leashed and friendly, cats are invited too.
“It’s for the whole family,” John said. “The kids can come and do the walk and enjoy the park. We hope this can be an annual event, and we’re looking forward to partnering with Service Dogs (for America).”
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org