Pooches on parade

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BCHS member Susanna Coleman and boyfriend Allen Johnson pose with Boston terrier Payton. Payton won “Best Smile” in the Pet Contest. (Photo by Angie Long)

BCHS member Susanna Coleman and boyfriend Allen Johnson pose with Boston terrier Payton. Payton won “Best Smile” in the Pet Contest. (Photo by Angie Long)

By Angie Long

Seventeen contestants paraded around Confederate Park Sunday afternoon, many decked out in their glitziest frocks and most dapper apparel. They competed for awards like “Most Heroic,” “Best Sportsmanship” and “Best Dancer,” and one lucky entrant took home the grand prize basket.

The occasion was the Spring 2014 “Bark in the Park,” a semi-annual event sponsored by the Butler County Humane Society. These handsome hounds and pretty pooches and their humans enjoyed a beautiful spring day while raising funds for and awareness of the BCHS’s mission to help homeless animals in the county.

“We had a great day out here,” said event coordinator, BCHS volunteer Kimberly Matthews. “We raised almost $360 for our organization and everyone seemed to have a good time.”

Local musicians Steve Norman and Blu Braden provided live musical entertainment during the event.

Matthews said the youngest judge, Madison Owens, was a tremendous help to the panel. “Madison came up with all these great categories. She did a lot of work. And of course, all our contestants won a treat.”

Ultimately, it was AJ, an Australian Shepherd with distinctive coloring and beautiful eyes, who took the grand prize basket.

BCHS member Susanna Coleman attended the event with boyfriend Allen Johnson and Boston terrier Payton, who earned “Best Smile” Prize. The three  posed for and purchased a photo portrait together as another way to support the humane society.

“I just can’t stress enough how important it is for folks to come out and attend community fundraisers like this for our humane society,” said Matthews.

“The funds we raise through donations, purchases, raffles and entry fees help us to continue our mission. We want to encourage everyone to spay and neuter their pets. We offer options for low-cost surgeries regardless of income, and even no-cost procedures for those who qualify.”

The Second Chance Rescue, an offshoot of the BCHS, helps place many local homeless animals with rescue groups and “fur-ever” homes in other states.

Matthew says more BCHS community events are planned for the fall, including a return of the Walgreen’s Harvest Event, another Bark in the Park and a booth at Old Time Farm Day.