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‘Paws Around the Park’ participants reminded to gather pledges

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Organizers of Saturday’s inaugural “Paws Around the Park” dog walk and canine carnival here once again are reminding participants to collect their pledges beforehand.

“We would like people to get their pledges prior to the walk because our prizes and the draw are based on the amount collected,” said Susan Cousineau, chair of the local Friends of Animals, which is organizing the fundraising event.

She added while she hopes to see plenty of wagging tails and smiling faces on the day of the walk, Cousineau doesn’t know yet how large the turnout will be.

“A lot of people have said that they’re going to be participating but we have no way of confirming it,” she admitted.

The event will see dogs and their humans congregate at Pither’s Point Park for a half-hour communal jaunt to raise funds towards building an animal shelter here.

The carnival will mark the grand finale of an summer of intense fundraising by Friends of Animals in partnership with Canada Safeway.

The incentive for participating in the event goes beyond just a walk in the park, Cousineau noted.

“Top Dog” fundraisers have the chance to win a number of prizes, including $1,000 in travel money, two round-trip tickets from Winnipeg to Toronto to see “The Lion King--The Musical,” and a weekend getaway for two to Thunder Bay with a two-night stay at the Travelodge Hotel Airline.

Prizes for kids and teenagers include a pair of in-line skates from Skates and Blades.

In addition, for every $50 raised, participants will be eligible to enter a draw for numerous donated prizes.

Following the walk, everyone is invited to try their luck in a series of contests, including a pet/owner look-alike contest, as well as waggiest tail, quirkiest ears, and critter talent competitions.

In-Focus Photography also will be on hand Saturday to snap photos of pet-owners and their dogs.

A variety of kids’ events, a police K-9 Unit demonstration, and a fundraising craft sale will round out the day’s activities.

Meanwhile, organizers are still looking for donations of craft items for the sale, as well as volunteers to help out with activities and clean-up.

Pledges must be turned in with completed pledge forms during registration Saturday between 9:30-10:30 a.m. The walk itself will start at 11 a.m., with the carnival following until about 2:30 p.m.

All participants will receive a “doggie bag” of coffee, juice, and snacks.

“Co-co,” Friends of Animals’ canine mascot, will lead the trek around the Point, followed by a troop of “alumni” dogs (those rescued by the organization) and their new owners.

Pet owners are reminded to leash their pooches and remember to “stoop and scoop” while in the park. All pets must have up to date vaccinations and rabies shots.

But those without pets also are invited to collect pledges and take part in the festivities.

The event is sponsored by Canada Safeway, Border Travel, Bearskin Airlines, Nor-West Animal Clinic, and Dr. Tom Cousineau. Pledge forms can be picked up at the above locations or by calling 274-2144.

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