Paws in the Park celebrates 10 successful years


Sophie Whyte

Pets and pet-lovers alike were thrilled to go to the all-day event known as Paws in the Park Saturday, Sept. 14. The annual event saw its tenth anniversary this year, and Columbia residents were happy to be out in the community, especially when it was a sunshine-filled day in Stephens Lake Park. The occasion began at 7 a.m. with a 5K race and ended at 5:30 p.m. with some dog competitions. Paws in the Park also has Dock Diving finals on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., to see which pooch is the diving champion.
The event was diverse in its range of activities. Vendors provided products such as dog treats, t-shirts, toys, and local artisan crafts. Adoption stations were set up to showcase various adoptable animals, mainly dogs and cats. Food trucks including the Jamaican Jerk Hut and the Kona Ice truck provided meals and treats for the attendees.
Many people showed up to the event, but the park was spacious enough to accommodate everyone. The event was pet-friendly, as long as pets were kept on a four-foot leash. Organizers and vendors were open to questions and discussion, making for a welcoming environment. There is no cost to get into the park, but it is helpful to bring money to purchase food, goods, or participate in races. Paws in the Park was especially pleasurable this year because of the mild weather and beautiful scenery.
While Paws in the Park is a fun event open to all, it is ultimately about helping animals in our community. Seminars about pet nutrition and animal care helped to educate people on how to treat our furry friends. Booths helped encourage spaying and neutering to prevent overpopulation. These messages about animal care help to make our community a better, safer place, but are delivered in an enjoyable occasion accessible to all. The profits from Paws in the Park go to Second Chance Adoption Center to help find safe homes for pets in Columbia.
By Sophie Whyte