Spring Bark!!! Brings Dogs and Humans Together for a Good Cause!
Posted Mar 18 2010 12:51pm
For the sixth year in a row, The Woodlands Dog Park Club will host its largest fundraiser, Spring Bark!!! on April 17 from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Located at NorthshorePark on Lake Woodlands Drive, the event brings together pets, rescue groups, and pet-friendly businesses for a day full of activities, education and fun.
In 2009, Spring Bark!!! was named “Best Pet Event in Houston” by Houston Pet Talk magazine. “This has become a community affair,” says Laura McConnell, president of The Woodlands Dog Park Club. “Our intention is to highlight the needs of homeless animals and to educate our community about the need for spaying and neutering your pets.” At least 15 rescue groups plus theMontgomeryCountySPCA and Animal Shelter will be in attendance with animals desperately seeking their forever homes. Since its inception in 2005, money raised at Spring Bark!!! has benefitted 30 rescue groups and provided funding for over 40 grants.
The day will begin with a pledge walk starting at the TownshipServiceCenter (formerly the CommunityAssociationsBuilding) and ending at NorthshorePark’s Main Pavilion. Demonstrations by Ruff-N-Ready Agility, the Houston Canine Frisbee Disc Club and canine freestyle (dog dancing) are throughout the day. Contests include Best Dressed Western Wear, Pet Tricks, Pet/Owner Look-Alike and the perennial favorite, the Puppy Plop. Officer Tommy Thompson of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department will offer a demonstration with Bianca, the drug sniffing dog. Microchipping will be available all day for $20 by the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. “The whole day is full of fun activities . . . to enjoy with your dog at your side. It doesn’t get better than that,” McConnell said.
Some of the dogs coming to Spring Bark!!! will not have an owner at their side. These are the animals brought by the many attending rescue groups. Peter Felix, local realtor and vice-president of The Woodlands Dog Park Club notes that participating rescues receive exposure of their group to a mass audience. “The general public can see and meet the members and adoptable animals, face to face,” Felix said. Deb Gaspard of Cocker Spaniel Rescue encourages people to come to the event, get to know each of the dogs’ individual personalities and see which would fit best into their lifestyles. “Plus, rescues are always in need of additional foster homes too,” Gaspard said.
New this year to Spring Bark!!! is Healing Species of Texas, a group that brings rescued dogs into classrooms, juvenile correctional facilities and treatment centers to help teach children what these dogs have already learned and demonstrated: perseverance, kindness, integrity and courage. Executive Director Joy Southard looks forward to meeting the many people who are heroes to homeless animals. “These dogs are a living example that what happens to you in life does not define you forever,” said Southard.
Much of the financial success of Spring Bark!!! is due to sponsorship by pet-related and pet-friendly businesses and individuals. For the second year in a row, Forest Shadows Pet Resort in Magnolia is a major sponsor. Subaru of America is the event’s other major sponsor and will be providing free engraved pet tags throughout the day. Debbie Oliver, owner of Miss Daisy’s Dog Camp in Tomball is proud to be an annual sponsor at Spring Bark!!! “Anything we can do to help the great local rescue organizations earn money for all of the dogs they help,” Oliver said.
Early Bird registration for each individual is $25 and can be done on weekends at BearBranchPark and the Petco on Sawdust Road or at Barker Street Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique all week. Pledges can be gathered to help raise money for the cause even by those who choose not to do the pledge walk. Prizes are awarded for the highest amount of money raised. Every participant receives a T-shirt and a toy for their best friend. Registration on the day of the event is $30.
Last year, Spring Bark!!! raised $30,000 and the organization is hoping to double that amount this year. “We are grateful to The Woodlands Township and the Parks Department for joining with us to bring this event to the community,” McConnell said. Since 2004, The Woodlands Dog Park Club has donated more than $300,000 to over 40 rescue groups, the Montgomery County Animal Shelter, toward spay/neuter voucher programs and Operation: Save-A-Lab. For information about the event, contact Laura McConnell at 281-851-8844 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Woodlands Dog Park Club is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to “Bettering the Lives of our Best Friends.”