Humane Society sets new festival, dog walk

Dottie, a resident at Lakeshore Humane Society, is feeling groovy and can’t wait for Woofstock.

Let your inner flower child bloom at Woofstock!

The 15th annual Pat McGee Memorial Dog Walk and new Woofstock Festival will be held on Saturday at the Lakeshore Humane Society Adoption Center and grounds. This event is named in honor of the late New York State Senator Pat McGee, who worked to fight animal cruelty and supported Buster’s Law, also known as the Felony Animal Cruelty Law.

The Woofstock Festival is a new addition, created to bring families together for a day of groovy fun and pet-loving peace!

Festival Committee Chair Kim Salerno, who is also the dog co-manager at LHS, said there’s a lot to celebrate this year.

“There will be music by DJ Joe Gould, craft and retail vendors, basket raffles, games for the kids, a bounce house, face painting, tours of the facility, and more,” she said.

In addition to hot dogs on the grill, Merritt Winery will be there with the Slush Bus (Shout out to alumni Copper!), along with Om Nohm gluten-free baked goods, Scoops, and Tony’s Waffles.

“It’s a much needed change after 14 years of the same venue,” said Janet Szymanski, LHS SNAP treasurer and Festival Committee member. “(It’s) more kid- and family-oriented, with a larger variety of vendors. (There’s) something for everyone. Also, with the festival being held at the adoption center, people who have never been there before will be given the opportunity to tour it and purchase something from the Cat’s Meow Boutique.”

Linda Smagner, committee member, longtime volunteer, and repeat LHS adopter, called the dog walk and festival a true “community event.”

“It’s going to be for families, (but) the city is involved in the process (too),” she said. “(The city of Dunkirk) will provide tables and fencing for the event, and TRC is allowing us to use their parking lot.”

Smagner added that several local businesses have donated items for goodie bags and raffles, with special thanks to sponsors Rosemary and Louie Gugino; Double A Vineyards; Dunkirk Animal Clinic; Arnold/Kukuda Insurance Agency; Fredonia Beaver Club; Bahgat & Laurito-Bahgat; Drayo & Drayo; Midtown Realty; Kosciuszko Polish Home; Fredonia Animal Hospital; Forestville Animal Hospital; Anne and David McCormick; Cheyenne McCormick; Hae Jude Custom Signs; DJ Joe Gould; Jean Barrett, Pet Photographer; Atlas Comfort Cabins; G&E Tents, Tables, and Chairs; Bounce About Inflatables; Sir Prints Alot; Dunkirk City Common Council; Mayor Wilfred Rosas; Mary Anderson–The Resource Center; Rich Carpenter; Janet and Dennis Szymanski; Barb and Clint Lewis; Henry’s Hair Co.; Lake Shore Savings Bank; Nestle Purina Petcare Co.; Dom Polski Club; and the Vallone family. Also, a big thank you to the Dunkirk Police for their efforts to keep dogs and walkers safe that day.

The walk’s route will take pooches and their escorts from the adoption center down Chestnut Street to Serval Street, then to Lakeshore Drive, Stegelske Avenue, and back to LHS. Neighbors and motorists are asked to please drive slowly and check roadways twice for safety the day of the event.

Dog walk registration will take place from 9 to 9:50 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10 a.m. at the adoption center, 431 E. Chestnut Street in Dunkirk. Parking is available on Stegelske Avenue. There will be a short break for folks to take their dogs home for well-deserved naps, and return to the grounds for the Woofstock Festival, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The registration fee for the dog walk is $18 for pre-registration, or $20 the day of the event. Goodie bags will be given to all registrants! Every dog must be on a sturdy leash, have an ID tag on his or her collar or a microchip with dog’s name and owner’s information, a rabies tag, and a current rabies certificate. Remember, dog costumes are welcome, and the more “far out,” the better! (But make pets’ comfort and safety a priority.) For adults not participating in the dog walk, there is a $5 donation for admission to Woofstock. Children enter Woofstock for free and must be accompanied by an adult. See www.lakeshorehumanesociety.org for information or call 672-1991 with any questions.

The walkers who collect the three greatest sponsor amounts will be eligible to win very special prizes! Third place gets a $25 gift certificate to Petsmart and a Furminator pet brush; second place gets a dog lover’s gift basket ($100 prize value); and first place gets a 30-minute photo session with WNY pet photographer Jean Barrett and a $100 product credit ($185 prize value).





Corresponding secretary and Festival Committee member Barb Lewis looks forward to seeing all the volunteers’ hard work come together for a great fundraiser.

“I’m excited about Woofstock because it’s expanding on the already successful dog walk with a family-friendly, fun event,” she said. “It also draws community attention to our adoption center and the great work we do!”

The Lakeshore Humane Society is always looking for new volunteers, and of course, adopters for the many dogs and cats in its care. See www.lakeshorehumanesociety.org for more information and to watch a video about LHS and its mission.


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