Paws for a cause

Hun­dreds at­tend Paws in the Park fundraiser

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— More than 300 peo­ple – and their furry friends – at­tended the fourth an­nual Paws in the Park fundraiser on Satur­day.

The event raises money for House of Hope An­i­mal Res­cue Inc., an Elkton-based

NORTH EAST

or­ga­ni­za­tion that works to raise aware­ness about spay­ing and neu­ter­ing as well as help fam­i­lies meet adopt­able dogs, said Lau­ren Fe­lix, or­ga­nizer of the event. The fundraiser in­cluded a dog walk, games, food, raf­fles and en­ter­tain­ment. The K9 camp Dog Obe­di­ence School also held an obe­di­ence demon­stra­tion and the Academy of Dog Train­ing

and Agility held an ob­sta­cle course demon­stra­tion.

House of Hope also had at least five adopt­able dogs in at­ten­dance at the event. Fam­i­lies could come and meet the dogs and fill out an ap­pli­ca­tion, Fe­lix said.

This year, the goal was to raise $35,000 though $26,000 had al­ready been raised be­fore the event, Fe­lix said. Last year, the event raised $31,000 and in 2014, $24,000 was raised.

“Each year, it’s grown ex­po­nen­tially,” Fe­lix said.

Rudy, a choco­late Labrador Re­treiver, who has straight-leg, which af­fects his back legs, was the grand mar­shal for this year’s walk.

“He em­bod­ies the re­silience of a res­cue dog and he doesn’t let his dis­abil­ity stop him,” Fe­lix said.

Many of those in at­ten­dance at the event adopted their furry fam­ily mem­bers from the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

A few years ago, Fe­lix said she adopted two dogs she was fos­ter­ing from the or­ga­ni­za­tion: Quee­nie, a pit bull mix, and Ami, an Amer­i­can Stafford­shire Ter­rier.

“They just fit,” she said. “They were just meant to be a part of our fam­ily.”

Chris­tine Shel­ley and Grace, 6, adopted Cooper, a flat-coated re­triever, from House of Hope in April.

“We just want to sup­port them be­cause they’re such a good cause,” Chris­tine said.

Mag­no­lia, Del. res­i­dents Liam and Pa­tri­cia Young drove over an hour to sup­port the or­ga­ni­za­tion from which they adopted Ras­cal, 5, in Au­gust. Pa­tri­cia said Ras­cal was a stray in Ge­or­gia be­fore com­ing to House of Hope.

Fe­lix said she is happy that many fam­i­lies who adopted from the or­ga­ni­za­tion came back to par­tic­i­pate in the fes­tiv­i­ties.

“I’m just happy to see that they want to come back and sup­port us be­cause their sup­port helps the next dog in need,” Fe­lix said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Grand Mar­shal Rudy, a choco­late Labrador Re­triever mix, who is less than a year old, leads the pack dur­ing the walk on Satur­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

A dog with the Academy of Dog Train­ers and Agility, based in Ne­wark, Del., com­pletes an agility demon­stra­tion on Satur­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Har­ford County res­i­dent Dana Wil­liams and Mickey, 8, a Mal­tese and York­shire Ter­rier mix, par­tic­i­pate in Pretty Paws, where the dog’s paw is dipped in paint, put on a can­vas and turned into flow­ers.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

North East res­i­dent Ethan Kyger, 16, and Mi­ley, a two-year-old boxer, pose af­ter Mi­ley is topped with a ba­nana split sun­dae out­fit.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Ris­ing Sun res­i­dent Abby Neal, 16, and Kate, a one-year-old black Labrador Re­triever, play a duck game, where a duck is cho­sen to win a prize.

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