Volunteers with the Animal Welfare Society in Miami will be busy this weekend.
In addition to bring animals up for adoption to the Coleman Theatre today, Friday and Saturday for display during the performances of “Lucky Stiff,” the AWS will host its second annual Paws in the Park Saturday at Riverview Park.
“Paws in the Park is a time for people to come out and show off their pets,” said Jean Eslick, president of the Animal Welfare Society.
Co-sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 277, the Paws in the Park is intended to give everyone a chance to show off their four-legged best friends as well as to share in fun for the whole family.
All activities take place in Riverview Park.
Following last year's flood, a downpour of rain lasted throughout most of the morning caused many people to think the event was canceled, so fewer attended than was hoped. AWS members are hoping for better luck this year and have planned a number of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
“We have very few fund raising events throughout the year,” Eslick said. “This is a great way of entertaining the public, providing them with information and raising a little money all at the same time.”
The day's events begin at 9 a.m. with Paws on Parade, a one mile walk for all interested dogs and their human companions.
A highlight of the event will be a petting zoo, featuring a variety of animals ranging from llamas to turtles and including miniature horses.
The petting zoo will be open from 10 a.m. to closing and is free to the public. Also at the zoo, there will be plush and “Beanie” animals which may be “adopted” for a small fee.
At 10 a.m. there will be two look-alike contests at the pavilion. The first will be a celebrity look-alike contest, with an award for the dog that looks the most like a celebrity followed by an owner-dog look-alike contest.
A free lunch will be served at noon by the Vietnam Veterans, followed at 1 p.m. by contests for the cutest dog and the ugliest dog, the largest dog and the smallest dog and the grand finale, a best dressed dog contest with awards for the dogs with the best costumes.
“The Vietnam veterans in Chapter 277 have been really great to the Animal Welfare Society,” Eslick said. “They helped us with Paws in the Park last year and have been helping us ever since both financially and by volunteering their time.”
Throughout the day there will be games with prizes for the youngsters and the young at heart including a spin-to-win wheel, a duck pond and a water balloon toss.
Tickets for the games can be purchased for $1 each and ticket stubs will go into a pot from which tickets will be drawn throughout the day for a free spay or neuter for a cat or dog.
There will also be a Frisbee decorating booth, where Frisbees can be purchased and decorated with markers and a photography shop where owners and their dogs can be photographed for $3 for a 5-inch-by-7-inch print.
T-shirts and various pet items will also be for sale.
Information about and applications for becoming a foster parent for animals waiting for adoption and for becoming a volunteer or member of AWS will be available in the park.
All proceeds from the event will go toward care of the animals at the new AWS adoption center at 501 E. Central and for the Miami Animal Shelter at 701 D St. NE as well as to help finance the AWS spay and neuter program.