Bark for Life is this Saturday

Published 2:42 pm Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hurley Park is the setting for Bark For Life on Saturday, April 11. An offshoot of Relay For Life, Bark For Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, meant to honor pets who may have been close and unconditional caregivers of cancer patients. Some dogs also may be cancer survivors, and they are honored at the event, too.

The day begins at 9 a.m., when about 20 vendors and teams set up tables of merchandise, food and beverages for man and dog. At 10 a.m., owners begin to register themselves and their dogs, visit vendors and perhaps make friends with other owners and pets. There will be records of those who pre-registered. The fee for pre-registration through Friday is $15 for first dog, and $10 for each additional dog. On Saturday, the fee is $20 for first, and $10 each additional.

The opening ceremony is at 11 a.m. and includes an invocation and blessing of dogs by the Rev. Steve Combs of Milford Hills Methodist Church. A survivors and caregivers lap follows the opening ceremony.

During the day, from opening until closing at 3 p.m., there are door prizes (must be present to win), additional vendor door prizes (not necessary to be present to win), drawings and contests, music by DJ Jon Casteel, and opportunities to share and show off dogs to others. Contests include Top Dog, Best Dressed, Best Butt-wiggle, Best Look-alike, Best Trick and Best Smile.

Dr. Greg Lowe of Rowan Animal Clinic is the on-site veterinarian and is available to speak about canine cancer awareness and to answer questions.

During the event, there will be demonstrations by search and rescue dogs by John Kelly through Central Piedmont Search & Rescue, and a demonstration of the training of K-9 dogs by Donna Rogers of K-9 Capers Dog Training Facility. Plans include appearances by Super Dog from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Sparky from the Salisbury Fire Department, and the Chick-fil-A Eat Mor Chikin’ Cow. A bounce house, double slide and castle are also expected.

Dogs must be on a leash of no longer than 6 feet. Dogs must also be current on their vaccinations.

At this writing, eight teams and 30 pets are pre-registered and have raised more than $1,000. Event sponsors are UAW/Freightliner; Doran, Shelby, Pethel and Hudson, PA, Attorneys; Genesis Realty Co.; Seamless Dentistry, and Ink It Promotional Products.

All proceeds from the event go to Relay For Life of Rowan County and the American Cancer Society.