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Howl-o-ween Pooch Parade will benefit Animal Rescue Friends

The 15th Annual Pooch Parade benefitting Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) takes place on Oct. 30 at Grand Boulevard Park in Nichols Hills. Pictured here is Lydia Talton with chocolate lab Sampson at the 2010 event. Photo by Josh Welch

By Contributing Writer Darla Shelden

It’s almost Howl-o-ween and that means it’s time for the 15th Annual Nichols Hills Pooch Parade benefitting Animal Rescue Friends (ARF). Save the date, Sunday, Oct. 30, for the furry four-legged event at Grand Boulevard Park in Nichols Hills.

Registration begins at noon and the parade starts at 1:00 p.m. at 6700 N Grand Blvd. There is a $20 registration fee for your pooch. ARF requests that all dogs be kept on a leash during the event.

The Pooch Parade is an opportunity for families, individuals and children and their animals to show off their costumes for Halloween.

Pooch Parade celebrity judges this year are former NBA player and artist Desmond Mason, News Channel 4’s Linda Cavanaugh and Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.
Sheriff Whetsel said, “I am thrilled to be asked to judge this event again. I was a judge several years ago and totally enjoyed the experience. Being a judge is difficult, however, because there were just too many cute animals to pick from. My wife Mitzi and I have three “four-legged kids” at home, Rocky and Chrystel (Dachshunds) and Tess (English Springer Spaniel). This is a really fun, noble and worthwhile event to raise funds to care for homeless animals until a home can be found for them.”

Contests at the upcoming event include Best Big Dog, Best Small Dog and Best Costume. There will be a drawing for prizes and fun for all.
Refreshments will include brisket sandwiches provided by Earl’s Rib Palace.

2011 ARF Pooch Parade Co-chair Katharine Regens said, “This event could not take place without the diligent efforts of the City of Nichols Hills Animal Control Department and the Nichols Hills Fire Department.”

“Incorporated to assist lost Nichols Hills pets in finding their owners, to help reduce the cost of stray animal problems for the City of Nichols Hills and to insure the welfare of animals impounded by the City of Nichols Hills, we have rescued hundreds of homeless animals,” said Regens.

Animal Rescue Friends (A.R.F.) is a charitable, tax exempt, humane organization with 501 (c) 3 status. It is a non-profit rescue group that saves lost and/or abandoned dogs and cats in Nichols Hills.

“Formed in April of 1999, we are a completely volunteer organization and funded entirely on donations. Most of our volunteers are local area teenagers who love animals, and receive community service hours for their time spent working with us. These animals have given love and loyalty to many families throughout the years,’ said Regens.
ARF relies on the proceeds from the Pooch Parade for its annual operating cost. They provide medical care, boarding, spaying and neutering.

American Rescue Friends has rescued over 800 dogs and cats since 1999.

Applicants must qualify in order to adopt one of ARF’s rescued cats or dogs (all are vaccinated, tested and spayed/neutered) for a fee ranging from $70 to $150.
ARF is a completely volunteer organization and is only able to try to save those animals in the two and a half square mile, 1800-home area of Nichols Hills. All adoption fees and donations are used to pay for vetting & boarding of the animals.

Animal Rescue Friends holds animal adoptions at the PetSmart store located at 63rd & N. May in Oklahoma City each Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ARF is currently seeking volunteers who can help to transport, set up and show the animals at their adoption booths for these events.

Registration can be done on-site the day of the parade and donations can be made to A.R.F. Pooch Parade 2011.

For more information about Animal Rescue Friends visit

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