Gail Cooper loves dogs.
She is quick to share photos of her favorite four-legged members of the family.
More than 10 years ago, her doggie love and a photo swap session with a friend produced a spur-of-the-moment idea for a Halloween party for dogs.
Cooper quickly gave the party – dubbed Spooky Tails – a community purpose. She made the event a fundraiser for the Pasco County Sheriff’s K-9 unit.
The 10th annual Spooky Tails will take place Oct. 8 at Cooper’s Parwick Kennels at 22129 Carson Drive in Land O’ Lakes. Co-sponsor of the Halloween party and pet costume contest is Benedetto’s Ristorante Italiano.
From noon to 4 p.m., the public is invited to enjoy an afternoon of food, music, games and prizes.
“It’s a good family event,” Cooper said.
Parking is available across the street from Parwick Kennels. Golf carts will ferry individuals, families and their dogs to the party site.
Texas Roadhouse and Uptown Pizza are the food vendors. Other vendors will have displays and booths, with dog and pet items for sale.
Participating businesses and community agencies include Busy Bee Crafts, Lutz Animal Hospital, The Spring of Tampa Bay, Ierna’s Heating and Cooling, and Pet City.
Past events have collected money to buy a Bite Suit to help train K-9 dogs or other training equipment. This year, donations will go toward the retirement fund which helps to pay for medical care for the dogs. The event also will honor the memories of K-9 Sam, K-9 Pete and K-9 Bud.
Texas Roadhouse and Benedetto’s also are hosting special events where people can meet a retired K-9.
On Sept. 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the K-9 will be at Texas Roadhouse at 26409 Silver Maple Parkway in Wesley Chapel. On Sept. 29, at the same hours, a K-9 will be at Benedetto’s, at 21529 Village Lakes Shopping Center, off State Road 54.
The number of dog retirees is increasing each year, and so is the need to provide financial support for these dogs, said Cooper.
Many of the vendors are dedicated, repeat supporters of Spooky Tails. There have been instances where a vendor changed a vacation day to be sure and make the party, Cooper said.
“It’s a community event where everybody steps forward and helps.”
Entry fees for the costume contest are $10 per animal or $20 for three animals. All pets in the contest or attending the event must be on a leash.
Display booths for Spooky Tails are still available, and more sponsors are needed.
For information, call Cooper at (813) 480-0811.
Published September 28, 2016