By JADE SOTO
Free plus dogs plus fun plus a good cause equals Bow Wow Bark in the Park.
This family-friendly and dog-friendly event will take place for the second year on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Rockwell Park in Bristol from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Its purpose is to raise awareness about shelter animals, pit bulls in particular.
Each year, according to organizers of Bark in the Park, 599 out of every 600 pit bulls admitted to a kill shelter will be euthanized. The chances of a pit bull being rescued from a kill shelter are low, said organizers. This means that the odds of being killed are disproportionately high.
Organizers of Bark in the Park explained pit bulls are stereotyped as big and dangerous, which plays a large role in the untimely deaths of almost 800,000 pit bulls every year.
Ally Paulette, the force behind Bow Wow Bark in the Park, explained, “A pit bull is half a million times more likely to be killed by a human than the other way around… Pit bulls are the world’s most misunderstood breed of dog. They are also the most common breed of dog to find in a shelter. And sadly, because of the ‘pit bull’ stereotype, many pit bulls who enter a shelter, never are able to leave.”
Paulette said the good news is that “if they are raised correctly they can be amazing, loving family dogs.” The bad news, she said, is that many people do not know this and/or are not willing to put in the effort to properly care for a pit bull.
Owning a rescued pit bull herself, Paulette said she understands the issue well and is a fierce advocate for this misunderstood breed.
Thus, Bow Wow Bark in the Park was launched.
At the Saturday event, there will be food, raffles, a talent show at 1 p.m., a costume contest at 3 p.m., and 65 vendors. Also, animal rescues and shelters will bring dogs, cats, and even rabbits, that are looking for a home and available to adopt. Furry friends (providing they are vaccinated and leashed) are welcome and will be given VIP treatment with a goody bag and access to two agility courses (one for big dogs and one for small dogs and puppies). Donation items for an animal shelter (food, toys, treats, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.) are requested, but not required – the event is free. Parking is available at Rockwell Park and the old O’Connell School parking lot.
For more information, visit the Bow Wow Bark in the Park Facebook page.