The Wyandot County Humane Society will hold its Pawzfest this Sunday. The annual dog walk and fun day will be held from 12-4 p.m. at Harrison Smith Park in Upper Sandusky.
“We have more vendors this year than we have had in the past,” assistant shelter manager and Pawzfest coordinator Anne Beaston said. “The Red Cross is going to be there and we are going to have Groovy Spoon and Buckeye Border Collie is going to be there.”
Pawzfest is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, with several new events, including a 50/50 drawing, face painting and a mini scavenger hunt.
“It will all take place down there at Harrison Smith Park,” shelter worker Jill McGee said about the scavenger hunt. “They’ll be giving some clues. They take the clue and then they find the area and we’ll have something there to show that they were at that location. It’s for kids, adults, who ever wants to participate. They can do it with their dogs or if they want to do it themselves. The first one to find all the items will win a prize.”
Also new this year is the pet memory board.
“They can honor a pet that passed away if they want to,” Beaston said. “They can bring a photo to put on the poster.”
Registration will begin at noon with the 1-kilometer walk stepping off at 1 p.m.
Following the walk, there will be contests and demonstrations. Some of the old-time favorites that are back again this year include the fastest dog and best costume contests and the biscuit walk.
“We have two demonstrations this year,” Beaston said. “The Marion K-9 unit from the sheriff’s department is coming in and doing a demonstration and Sit Means Sit is going to be doing a demonstration.”
Pawzfest has something for all animal lovers, whether they own pets or not.
“You don’t have to have a pet to come and enjoy it,” shelter manager Ann Pfeiffer said. “A lot of people come to just watch everybody else and their pets. It’s fun if you have a pet or not. If you just like dogs, come down.”
“We’ll have shelter dogs there to be walked, the ones that need homes; so even if they don’t have a dog, they can come out and come meet them,” Beaston added. “It’s just a fun thing for the family to come out and do.”
There also will be a bake sale and raffle. Prizes include Toledo Mud Hens and Cedar Point tickets, gift certificates from area restaurants, two Bissell sweepers, gift baskets and more.
“All the raffle prizes are donated by area businesses,” Beaston said.
Admission is a canned cat or dog food item. Anyone making a $25 or more donation will receive a Pawzfest doggie bag filled with pet-related items. Proceeds from Pawzfest will go to the Humane Society’s shelter. The event has raised between $2,000 and $3,000 each year.
“Not one dime goes to administration,” Humane Society Director Lynda Balz said. “Not one dime goes to anything except direct animal care and the facility to house them in.”
Founded in 1985, the Wyandot County Humane Society takes in more than 10,000 animals each year, providing shelter to 200-300 animals at a time with no animals ever being turned away. The shelter provides pick-up, rescue, adoption, lost and found, and cruelty investigation consultations. The Helping Our Pets Everywhere Clinic provides low-cost spay and neuter programs to more than 6,500 pet each year, while the Equine Rescue houses up to 50 horses, ponies and donkeys. Balz estimates it costs between $250,000 to $300,000 a year to run the Humane Society.
The number of Pawzfest participants has grown each year, with an estimated 75 people attending last year’s event. Organizers are hoping for even more on Sunday.
“Our staff will be out there and if anybody has any animal care questions, we’ll be happy to answer them,” Pfeiffer said.
For more information, contact the Humane Society at 419-294-4477 or visit www.wyhumane.org.
By CHANDA NEELY