Walk, Run And Fun At Expanded Bark In The Park

Talbot Humane’s third annual Bark in the Park family festival will feature even more activities for people and pets as it continues to grow in popularity as a community event. The free festival takes place on Saturday, October 20th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Idlewild Park in Easton.

New this year, Annapolis Volvo is sponsoring a 10K run and a 5K fun run/walk for human participants, starting at 9 and 9:15 a.m., respectively, from Easton Middle School, one block from Idlewild Park. Registration for the races opens there at 8 a.m.

The Dog Walk returns for the canines, along with the Fun Dog Show, which allows owners an opportunity to match their dogs against others in ten categories including talent, looks, size and costumes. L.P. Palmer and his Yorkshire Terrier, Jake, won both Best Look Alike and Best in Show at last year’s Bark in the Park Dog Show.

Registration fees apply for the runs, Dog Walk and Dog Show, with registration available in advance through the Talbot Humane website, www.talbothumane.org. Registration for the 10K and 5K also is available through Active.com.

Those who just want to enjoy a day of dog-watching can bring the entire family out for this community festival focused on Talbot Humane’s mission of caring for the animals of Talbot County. A PAWrade of Adoptable Dogs will give visitors a good look at dogs available for adoption from a number of participating area shelters and rescue organizations. Local veterinarians conduct mini-workshops on selected pet-care topics, with vendors offering a variety of pet-related products.

Agility Dogs and the Easton Police K-9 Unit provide scheduled demonstrations during the event. With horse-drawn carriage rides, food, music and special activities for kids, Bark in the Park offers fun the whole family.

Sponsors still are being recruited to help make this year’s festival even more successful as Talbot Humane’s major fundraising event of the year. WCEI is a top sponsor, with others currently committed including Big Dogs, C. Albert Matthews, Easton Elks #1622, Easton Utilities Commission, Foxy’s Harbor Grill, Gone for a Run, Hertrich Chevrolet, M&T Bank, Oxford Lawn & Landscape, PetSmart, Pierson’s Comfort Group, Preston Automotive Group, Provident State Bank, Queenstown Bank, Salisbury Gift & Garden, What’s Up? Media and the YMCA.

Individual donors also are welcome. Volunteer fundraisers may compete online to see who can gather the most support for the animals through a link on Talbot Humane’s website or directly through Active.com. Last year, Charlie Petosa and Charles Riter earned Highest Youth Fundraiser and Highest Adult Fundraiser honors, respectively. Top fundraisers can win prizes including a one-week stay at a Florida condominium, a NOOK reader with Barnes & Noble gift card, and a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Bark in the Park’s 2012 goal is to raise $50,000 for Talbot Humane. The shelter has seen an 18-percent increase in the number of animals in its care over the past twelve months and has more than 200 animals now waiting for adoption. With the associated increase in expense for that care, Executive Director Patty Crankshaw-Quimby emphasizes that the need for community support for Bark in the Park is greater than ever.

“We deeply appreciate the help that businesses and members of the community provided to Bark in the Park last year,” she said. “Please support the animals once again with your contributions, then come out and have some fun with us in October.”

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer, call Talbot Humane at 410-822-0107 or visit www.talbothumane.org.

In photo: L.P. Palmer and his Yorkshire Terrier, Jake, won both Best Look Alike and Best in Show in the 2011 Bark in the Park Dog Show.

In photo: Entrants take a walk around the show ring after last year’s Fun Dog Show.