Humane Society of Washington County celebrated 90th birthday during Bark in the Park

September 24, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER |
  • Tammy and Roger Vann of Williamsport participate in the Jaycees Dog Jog, Saturday with their English Setters, Dasia Voo and Van at the Hagerstown City Park.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

The Humane Society of Washington County celebrated its upcoming 90th birthday Saturday by filling City Park with barking, running, jumping, water-lapping dogs.

Incorporated in November 1921, the humane society has spent nearly a century helping animals.

"You don't make it 90 years by yourself. You can't," said Paul Miller, executive director of the humane society.

It takes a supportive community, he said.

On Saturday, the humane society threw Bark in the Park, an annual party for the community and its canine friends. It has hosted Bark in the Park for the past four or five years, Miller said.

Bark in the Park evolved out of Canines on the Canal, which the humane society hosted for 11 years, he said.

This year, the humane society partnered with the Jaycees for a 5K Fun Run and Dog Jog Saturday morning and filled the dog-friendly side of City Park with vendors, demonstrations, a rabies clinic and games, all for dogs.

"It's a little bit of everything for everyone who is a dog owner," Miller said.

About 100 dogs took part in a walk at the start of the event, he said, and dozens more participated in the afternoon fun and games, which included bobbing for hot dogs and a flyball demonstration by the Corporal Punishment Flyball Team.

While Bark in the Park is a fundraiser for the humane society, it is most importantly an outlet for socializing dogs, Miller said.

"Whatever money we raise is extra," he said. "If people can come out, their dogs can have fun, that's what matters."

Anne Kulceski of Emmitsburg, Md., has brought her Australian shepherd to the event for the last few years, she said.

"Oh, he loves it," she said. "He loves seeing all the dogs and sniffing all the smells."

It's great for dogs to have a place where they can come and socialize, something not every park permits, she said.

Kelli Summers of Williamsport said she tries to bring her two cocker spaniels, Kooper and Kamden, to Bark in the Park each year as they also enjoy socializing with other dogs.

"We try to do everything with the dogs, let them socialize and have fun," she said.

Kimberly and Josh Busick of Waynesboro, Pa., said they brought their dogs to Bark in the Park in Hagerstown for the first time Saturday.

Having been to Frederick, Md.'s Bark in the Park event, Kimberly Busick said they were glad to see Hagerstown had a venue to socialize their dogs that also included information for owners.

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