Bark in the Park
What: Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County annual Bark in the Park
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 12
Where: Riverside Park at 3200 Riverside Drive in Vero Beach
Cost: Free admission and parking
Information: www.hsvb.org or contact Maria Springer at firstname.lastname@example.org for vendor information.
A new dog behavior program called Play Dogs Play offered at the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County will be showcased this year when the shelter sponsors its seventh annual Bark in the Park.
This fun-filled, free day for dogs and their owners is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 12 at Riverside Park in Vero Beach.
Demonstrations of the Play Dogs Play program will be 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Development director Sara Smith said the Play Dogs Play program teaches dogs’ social skills, evaluates and reduces challenging behaviors and helps shelter dogs get adopted more quickly.
Program demonstrations will feature shelter dogs led by trained shelter volunteers, under the direction of Marcel Goncalves, pet behavior and enrichment manager.
“Most of the dogs we have at the shelter don’t come with any history,” Smith said. “Marcel has developed a whole behavior program that allows us to see how well the dogs interact with one another and what type of personality they have. We feel it makes our dogs more adoptable.”
Bark in the Park is one of three large fundraising events sponsored by the shelter each year and raises about $30,000 for shelter operations. All of the funds raised help the shelter care for the 7,000 homeless pets in Indian River County. Dogs available for adoption at the shelter will also participate in a meet and greet with prospective owners and go home the same day.
Dogs, their leash-holders and family members share the fun in the park, visiting with vendors and playing with other canine companions.
This year, there is an expanded “kid’s zone” with craft activities for children.
Other activities at Bark in the Park include a dog lure course; a demonstration by the world-famous Disc-Connected K-9 Frisbee team at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.; performances by Ultimate Air Dock Jumping Dogs at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.; and a demonstration from the Sheriff’s Office K-9 officers at 2 p.m.
Vendors will offer a variety of dog supplies as well as pet-themed shirts, gifts, jewelry and more. There also will be refreshments.
Local community organizations will distribute information about their services throughout the area. Donations of dog food will be accepted by the Love for Paws Sanctuary—a local pet food bank.
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