By Darla Shelden
Back by popular demand, the second annual “Pupnic in the Park” event will be held Saturday, April 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ross Park located at Ross and NW 62nd Street in Oklahoma City.
Sponsored by the FBIR (Fairdale-Belle Isle-Riviera) Neighborhood Association, Pupnic raises money to make improvements to Ross Park, which they adopted.
Last year, approximately 1,500 dogs and their human companions attended. In addition there were 22 dog rescue groups with pooches ready for adoption.
Proceeds were used to purchase four poop-bag dispensers and to provide badly needed trees for the park. Thirty trees have been planted and are sporting blue ribbons for the event. Another 30 are to be planned next year, thanks to a grant from the Margaret Annis Boys Trust.
Emily Garman, co-chair, said, “The Pupnic was more fun than even we could have imagined. The dogs loved performing in the dog contests, walking in the parade and just being in such a relaxed and dog-friendly atmosphere. Contests include tallest and smallest dogs, best trick, best costume, best kisser, best tail wag and many more.”
The Neighborhood Alliance presented Pupnic in the Park the Best Neighborhood Project award for 2012.
“One of the best outcomes was how many neighbors got to know each other during the event,” said Lynn Garman, co-chair. “More new people are involved in our neighborhood association, and nearly everyone now picks up their dog waste. Some 20 new volunteers have signed up to help us water the new trees.”
“We hope to raise enough money this year to install a three-level drinking fountain for adults, kids and dogs,” Lynn said. “We’d also love to build a dog agility course to give dogs and their people a great way to interact and get exercise.”
“The older, existing trees in the park have been damaged by weed prevention chemicals and weed eaters for years,” added Lynn. “Those on slopes have endured the most erosion. We’re trying to save them by adding rich soil and mulch around their exposed roots and trunks so they can conserve water.”
“The OKC Parks Department simply doesn’t have the resources to take care of all these trees,” Lynn said. “The people who are really using this park, and love coming here, are stepping up to do their part in preserving and improving this area.”
Toni Taylor-Glenn, sponsorship chair, said “This year we have 10-15 vendors offering all types of dog-related products and services including Central Park Dog Day Care who will be taking professional photos of people and their dogs.”
“Barking Dog Bakery will have an “Ask the Trainer” and a “Kissing” booth featuring the winner of last year’s kissing contest, “ an adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,” added Glenn.
“We have great support from our local businesses for the raffle, including an over-night stay for two with breakfast at the Renaissance Hotel and many wonderful gift certificates from VZDs, Rococo’s, Tucker’s, 42nd St. Candy Store, Lynda’s Birkenstocks and more,” Glenn said.
Classen View Veterinary Clinic and Petco Foundation are the event’s Top Dog Sponsors. Other sponsors include Bella Foundation, Wedgewood Veterinary Clinic, James Hammack DDS, Hydrangea Floral Design Studio, Barking Dog Bakery, Walters Power International, Allied Hardware and Alan and Heather Davis, Churchill Brown realtors.
Vendors include 3 Pooches OKC Pet Waste Removal Service; Barefoot Designs; Barking Dog Bakery; Carey Home & Pet Care; Chick-fil-a; KONA Ice; Roxy’s Ice Cream Social; and Wild Al’s Food Truck & Catering.
Animal rescue agencies that will be at Pupnic with pooches available for adoption include All 4 One Rescue; Great Plains Mastiff Rescue; Heartland Lab Rescue; Lucky Star Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue; OK Save A Dog; Pit Bull Rescue of Oklahoma, Tiny Tails Small Dog Rescue; and Tornado Alley Bulldog Rescue.
“Safe Haven Animal Rescue will be offering Microchips to all pets for $25,” said Emily. “If your pet gets lost, it might lose its collar–a microchip is its sure ticket back home. It only takes a minute and can save your pet’s life.”
Neighborhood Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to the metropolitan neighborhoods of Central Oklahoma.
There is no fee for dog rescues and dog welfare non-profits. Rain date is Sunday, April 14. Dogs should have current rabies vaccinations and be leashed during the event.
For more information, visit www.Pupnic.com.