BCHS Paws In The Park Continues To Get Bigger
Five years after the first Bond County Humane Society Paws in the Park, the event has reached its highest point.
"Every year, people want more microchipping and want to participate in the dog contests more," said BCHS President Rachel Hundsdorfer. "It just keeps growing."
At one point on Saturday, an informal head count had nearly 350 in attendance at the event held at Patriot's Park. And participation in events such as the agility course and dog contests were an even bigger hit than in 2007, prompting the group to think of expansion in 2009.
"We might include an owner/dog look-alike contest and add more categories for the prettiest pure breed and prettiest mixed breed contests," Hundsdorfer said.
Originally the even was scheduled for rain or shine on Saturday, but the remnants of Hurricane Ike made Paws in the Park coordinators a bit uneasy. When the day of the event came, rain was nowhere in sight.
While winds took down a tent when the storm did make it through the area Sunday, Saturday went without a hitch in terms of weather. Those same tents will become a mainstay in the event.
"It was truly a marvelous turnout and the weather was great," Hundsdorfer said. "Having the tents made for a more festive atmosphere and gave us some nice shade."
Without releasing precise numbers, Hundsdorfer said the event saw an increase in fundraising between 30 and 40 percent over the 2007 totals.
She said everyone from participants to vendors to BCHS volunteers called the event a success. The biggest of the attractions was a canine demonstration by the Fairview Heights Police Department.
"You couldn't see through the crowd when they did a demonstration," said Dennis Hundsdorfer, Rachel's husband and a BCHS member.
The demonstration included dogs in training for drug sniffing duty. One officer would hold the dog while another, dressed in a protective outfit, would attempt to run away from the dog, only to be tackled by the animal.
Along with the demonstration, other new attractions at the event included photo portraits and first aid demonstrations were also successful. A mainstay of the event, the microchipping clinic, had its best turnout with 39 pet owners taking advantage.
Even Ashley Rench, a young girl who makes dog treats and donates her proceeds to the BCHS, had a successful day. She came to the event with dozens of treats and left with one.
"We'd like to open the event to vendors," said Rachel Hundsdorfer. "We really want Ashley to come back."
Following is a list of the winners from the pet contests held at the Bond County Humane Society Paws in the Park.
Prettiest Mixed Breed - Diane Stanton and Snickers, 1st; Traci Slatton and Daisy, 2nd; Renea Barnes and Lily, 3rd; Kris Daughtery and Matsi, 4th.
Prettiest Pure Breed - Lindsey McGovern and Shelby Sue, 1st; Gayle Wise and Nevada, 2nd; Kim Edmister and Raina, 3rd; Hannah Paul and Lucy Lou, 4th.
Fastest Newspaper Fetch - Kim Edmister and Raina, 1st; David Shelly and Mollie, 2nd; Sandy Bearly and Banit, 3rd.
Best Series of Tricks - Pam Wilson and Blake, 1st; Beverly Nelson and J.T. Snow, 2nd; Jennifer Shelly and Joey, 3rd; Janice Perkins and Hershey Kisses, 4th.
Best Dressed - Beverly Nelson and Rabbit, 1st; Janet Esmon and Maxey, 2nd; Robert Maupin and Cocoa, 3rd; Vicki Armstrong and Sadie, tie for 4th; Maranda Schaefer and Lucy, tie for 4th.
Best Kisser - David Shelly and Mollie, 1st; Kim Edmister and Raina, 2nd; Rose File and Grace, 3rd; Kayla Green and Cotton, 4th.
Best Barker/Howler - Robert Maupin and Cocoa, 1st; Kim Edmister and Raina, 2nd; Maranda Schaefer and Lucy, 3rd; Cristine Baily and Max, 4th.
Canine Queen - Kim Edmister and Raina, 1st; Anya Thomas and Liberty Faith, 2nd; Ted Wise and Nevada, 3rd; Donna Jones and Boo, 4th.
Canine King - Samantha Green and Ringo, 1st; Beverly Nelson and Rabbit, 2nd; Kayla Green and Drake, 3rd; Kathy Semon and Lucky, 4th.
The Greenville Advocate September 18, 2008 page 20