Hundreds of pets and their owners packed Kiwanis Memorial Park on Sunday, July 8, for the 13th annual Pets in the Park event.
The one-day event raises funds for the medical needs of homeless companion animals under the care of New Hope Dog Rescue, the Saskatoon SPCA and SCAT Street Cat Rescue.
“We have lots of dogs that come in needing a lot more care than just your average spay, neuter or vaccination,” explained Gwyn Poole, New Hope Dog Rescue’s foster home coordinator. “Dogs sometimes have broken legs or need some kind of other major surgery. It’s very expensive, so Pets in the Park is a really huge help for us.”
Among the crowd of canines was Razor, a six-year-old French Bulldog – Boston Terrier mix.
His owners rescued him after he was abused as a pup.
“When I saw him, I was like, we have to adopt this dog,” Razor’s owner Olivia Gardiner said. “When I went to grab him and he tried to bite me, it’s like, do you want this? It’s like yep, 100 per cent. He’s coming home with us. We’re going to rehabilitate him.”
Razor is also blind.
“He taught us that it’s not that serious to have eyes removed. He was a totally different dog. He was in a lot of pain with his eyes, and he was also aggressive because of his eyes because he was protective because they hurt him,” Gardiner said.
Organizers estimate around 9,000 people attended the event, bringing along their furry — or in some cases, feathered — friends.
“People from all socioeconomic backgrounds who love animals come down. We all meet each other and instantly we’re friends because we know we all love animals. It’s great to get people together in the community,” said Colleen Wilson, a Pets in the Park committee member.
Wilson said the fundraising goal is around $75,000 and the money will be split three ways between the animal organizations.