Friendly pups were out in full force, from big breeds to little leapers and every furry, four-legged dog in between, at the 12th annual Dogs’ Day in Dade City.
It really was a dogs’ day afternoon on March 19, at Agnes Lamb Park, just off Meridian Avenue, the city’s downtown.
“Today really is about the dogs,” Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez told the crowd of dozens of dogs accompanied by their humans. The mayor added: “But today is really about the people, too, and this great community.”
Dogs’ Day has been going on ever since Lucy Avila, along with the Dade City Youth Council, organized it with local animal-based businesses from Dade City.
With downtown businesses such as Dog-Mania & Cats, Dade City Animal Clinic and Nutrena Farmers Feed Depot, Dogs’ Day hosts a variety of activities. They include costume contests, dog parade, talent portions and even an ice-cream eating contest that pairs the dogs with the humans (who eat yogurt).
“It’s a great day for the dog and the human to come together and expose them to a fun environment,” Avila said. “This lets the dogs interact, while their owners can do some local vendor shopping that’s dog-related.”
Avila was especially proud of her own dog, Abby, a Schnauzer Terrier that became the inaugural Dog Mayor of Dade City.
Selecting a Dog Mayor is a new contest introduced this year. The person who raises the most money for the fundraiser has the honor of having his or her dog named the Dog Mayor for a year.
“I’m glad she’s the first Dog Mayor of Dade City,” Avila said, with a laugh.
Also on hand were several dog adoption groups with available good boys and good girls to take home.
A K-9 Challenge was held, with the sheriff’s unit showing off its canine officers and their talents.
Proceeds from this year’s event benefit the city’s K-9 program, the veteran’s K-9 program and several other adoption programs, as well as the Pasco County Animal Shelter in Land O’ Lakes.
Over the years, proceeds from Dogs’ Day also has helped to support and maintain the Dade City Dog Park, which is just down the street from where the event was held.
Avila said she thinks the event represents Dade City and what the town is all about.
“We’re a very dog/pet-friendly town and we have dog stations all around town, which some of our proceeds go to (maintaining) those.”
Avila continued: “I thought today was a great turnout because every year it’s just great to see this community come together by one thing: their love of dogs and their pets.”
Sponsors for this year’s event were The New Barker, an online dog magazine; the Green Door on 8th; and Granny’s Animal Camp.
Published March 30, 2022