This Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation will host the third annual Paws in the Park, an outdoor dog walk and family fun event to raise money for the shelter, at Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays, 102 Old Riverhead Road West.
All are welcome for a day of family fun, shopping, dancing, prizes and goodie bags. Music will be provided by a local DJ, food supplied by food trucks and local vendors for shopping. There will be exciting activities including a scavenger hunt for children and an agility course for dogs. There will also be dozens of adoptable pets available for meet and greets. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for picnicking! Admission for shopping and activities is free, but a donation is suggested.
Participants of the one mile dog walk can pre-register online here or visit southamptonanimalshelter.com and click on the Paws in the Park logo for registration fees and fundraising details. Pre-registration for the walk is $20 and $25 the day of the event. Walkers can create a fundraising team to benefit SASF shelter pets, and the top fundraiser will win a prize! Dogs must be leashed and have valid proof of rabies.
All proceeds from the event support the feeding and top-notch care of the animals residing at Southampton Animal Shelter. SASF launched Paws in the Park to help bring awareness to the growing number of animals that need our help. There is an overpopulation of pets on Long Island, which leads to homelessness. SASF works to care for strays found wandering the streets or to save dogs from overcrowded municipal shelters throughout New York and beyond. The shelter is a safe haven for animals and is often their last resort. Without SASF, the animals would not survive. By providing the animals housing, food, medical treatment, training, and rehabilitation, the animals are given a second chance.
Marketing Manager Christina Ragone says, “It’s a fun day to celebrate the pets in our lives and raise money for the foundation.”
Tell us about this year’s paws in the park event.
It’s set up like a dog walk and family fun day at the same time. We have a one-mile hike where people can bring their dog or come alone. The idea is that you set up a team and raise money for animals in need. It’s a trail through the woods and we have water stations set up. After the walk is a family fun day. We have activities for kids, like a scavenger hunt, pony rides, vendors, a photo booth, a dog agility course and there’s a DJ, so we’ll have music going the whole time.
We have food trucks, including Hampton Coffee Company and Mattitaco, we’ll have an ice cream truck…it’ll be a fun day where you can picnic and be outdoors. We have an indoor facility, as well, in case of rain. If it rains we’ll move the vendors inside. Basically, people are free to bring their whole family and their dogs. It’s a fun day to celebrate the pets in our lives and raise money for the shelter.
How has the response been to past years’ paws in the park?
We’ve always had a great time. Everybody who has come has continued to return and it’s a great opportunity to bring your pets and do something fun. There are not many pet friendly activities [on the East End], so that’s one of the biggest things—it’s a great way to keep your pet socialized.
How close are you to your fundraising goal of $30,000?
With sponsorships we’re close to about $10,000. In previous years we’ve raised in the twenties. We’re hoping to do a little bit better than past years. We’re also trying to raise awareness a little bit more. All the money goes to the top-notch care of our pets. The pets in our shelter have a nicer experience than many other shelters. They have playgroups. Our cats, for the most part, live in free-roam patios. All the money we raise provides a better life for our animals.
What would you say to someone who is debating whether to adopt a pet or buy one?
I would, 100%, always adopt. It might not be that specific day you will be able to find the right pet, and sometimes it’s not the look you thought you were going to fall in love with, but be open! It’s about picking the right match for your family, rather than the perfect look for your couch. For example, you know an adult dog’s personality already. We’re able to know the pets a little better than when you go to a breeder. We’ve evaluated them. We know if our dogs will want to go on hikes versus one that would rather watch Netflix with you.
I think in adopting a shelter pet, you get more background than a lot of other places. We know their temperament. Because of that it gives you a little more information and we coach you through adoptions and see if it’s a right fit. And you can always call back and we’d be happy to talk people through that. We’re there for you throughout the life of the animal.
In addition to the hike and activities, meet adoptable pets at Paws in the Park at Red Creek Park, 100 Old Riverhead Road, Hampton Bays.
For more information on Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation and its services, visit southamptonanimalshelter.com.