PITTSBURG — A stormy morning didn't stop animal enthusiasts from descending on the Lincoln Park band dome Saturday to attend Bark In The Park with their furry friends.
The event, which benefits the SEK Humane Society had a variety of dog-friendly events including an agility course, pools and a dog walk around the park.
Event Participant Kyle Martin attended with his wife and two of his family’s dogs, commenting that he enjoys bringing the dogs out to play.
"The dogs bring a lot of laughter into our home," Martin said patting his dog’s head.
Humane Society Board President Mary Kay Caldwell echoed Martin.
"Events like this let the pets and the people be social and visit with each other,” she said. “It's like a big homecoming. We get that feeling with a lot of our events like this one and the chili feed. It's wonderful."
Vendors, sponsors and music were also available with Freddy's offering free pup cones complete with dog biscuits. Good Boy Dog training, an event sponsor, was on hand providing the community with training information.
Amelia Wheeler — who owns Good Boy with her husband Wade — said being involved with events like these are important for her company.
"When we started the humane society was very supportive,” Wheeler said. “Events like this allow us to not only support them, but reach out to the community to teach them how to have a happier, safer relationship with their dog."
The event also allows Wheeler to help dogs from the shelters get adopted.
"Anything we can do to help animals in shelters or rescues get adopted is important to us,” she said. “We offer discounts to families who have adopted a shelter pet. Anything we can do to get them a home and help that animal keep it."
Bark In The Park is the largest summer fundraiser for the humane society, and Shelter Director Kelci Cooper feels its success is built largely by the shelter’s volunteers.
"We're funded by donations, so the love and support of the volunteers is everything to us,” Cooper said. “We are so lucky to have an incredible community. The people who help out, come to events, sponsor them. They are just incredible to us."
Another level of support for the humane society attending the event were members of Pittsburg Animal Control. Large changes at animal control over the past five years have led it to work closely with the humane society, supporting its rescue efforts.
"Our goal is to be advocates for the animals” Animal Control Shelter Manager Sharon Stanley said. “We want to see every adoptable dog, whether it's from us or the humane society or another local rescue find a home."
The humane society has two future events coming up, the Dog Swim and Bowl-A-Rama, both in August. Cooper encourages anyone who wants to help the humane society to visit the shelter.
"We're always looking for new volunteers,” she said. “We also have a great special going on for adoptions. Our dog adoption fee is $40 and our cats are just $20. Now is a great time to come adopt a new friend."