Howl-o-Ween Puppy Pawlooza raises more than $11,000 in supplies and funds for animal shelter
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove City Park went to the dogs on Saturday during the sixth annual Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza hosted by the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant.
The event was free to the public with a donation of cat or dog items to benefit the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter. The event raised a total of $11,375 in cash and supplies donations, all of which will benefit the animals at the animal shelter.
The event kicked off at 9 a.m. before a walk around the park at 10 a.m., with dozens of owners and costumed dogs joining in.
The dogs and their owners also participated in the howling contest and a costume contest, with prize packages for first, second and third place winners in each contest. Each contestant received a gift certificate to Raising Cane’s. Each winner also received a one-year subscription to the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Other prize sponsors included Pampered Pets Grooming Salon, Bubbles and Bows Pet Salon, Homebase Lumber and Supply, the Copperas Cove Walmart, Animal Medical Center, Moment 2 Moment Photography, Keith Ace Hardware, Pet Supplies Plus and Doggie Day Spa.
The winners of the howling contest were Ataleia Ziegler in third place, Jacob Arsenault in second place and Jasa Mayotte and her husky Lincoln in first place.
The winners of the doggy costume contest, which had 35 entries, were Tallulah Moon, who was dressed as a cowgirl, in first place; Bella, who was dressed as a pirate, in second place; and Odin, dressed as Freddy Kreuger, in third place.
The individual who brought in the most donations was Senior Ms. Five Hills Dawn Hale, while the group who brought in the most donations was the Copperas Cove Junior High School National Junior Honor Society. Hale brought in 749 pounds of supplies, while the CCJHS NJHS brought in 458 pounds.
The event was chaired by Five Hills Ambassador Emily Kimball, who previously served as the Five Hills Ambassador in 2018 and as the Preteen Miss Five Hills in 2017. Kimball crowned her successor, Briana Liles, in 2019. In 2020, 2019 Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts was announced as the 2020 Five Hills Ambassador. Roberts and her family moved out of state in July, and Kimball stepped up to help begin planning the event, according to Volunteer Pageant Director Wendy Sledd. This year marked Kimball’s third time hosting the Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza.
“Emily’s taken it over and been a blessing,” Sledd said.
Kimball said she was excited to be able to help organize the event.
“I think it’s a really great thing that I can do for the environment especially to help all the animals in Copperas Cove and at the animal shelter definitely, and it just gives me a nice, warm feeling inside, knowing that I’m making a difference and raising money for all the homeless animals,” Kimball said.
Kimball said she wasn’t expecting the turnout Saturday but was happy to see everybody and their dogs. Her favorite costumed dog was Tallulah Moon the cowgirl.
“I think it’s really important because we need to make sure that all the animals are being treated the right way, and they have the things that they need to survive and live and have a happy life, and I think that it’s really important because people need to know that just because they’re animals doesn’t mean that they can’t live happy and have a great family and have food all the time,” Kimball said.
The donations filled the bed of an Animal Control pickup truck by the end of the event.
David Wellington, with the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter, said the event was definitely needed.
“It truly helps out with us because we work off of donations, period, with all of our food and everything, and so everything that they donate to us, we will share with our dogs plus we’ll share with the new adopters and everything that comes with the new adoption of a new pet,” Wellington said.
In previous years, the event raised $2,500 worth of donations in 2015, $6,000 in 2016, $10,000 in 2018 and $13,000 including grants in 2019.
The shelter currently has two dogs and nine cats available for adoption, as of press time.
Without the help of the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant and the Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza, the animal shelter would definitely struggle according to Wellington.
“It would hurt us tremendously. Because we work off of donations, Pet Supplies Plus is about the only person who really helps out a lot,” Wellington said.
Although some individuals donate food and supplies, those donations are not on the scale of the Puppy Pawlooza.
For Jasa Mayotte, this was her first time at the Puppy Pawlooza with her two-year-old Husky named Lincoln who wore an XXXL dinosaur costume, which was the only costume that would fit him, Mayotte said.
“I heard about it on Facebook and I was all like anything dog, I go to,” Mayotte said. “I just love all dog events.”
Mayotte won first place in the howling contest and earned a prize, which included grooming gift certificate to Pampered Pet Grooming Salon, something she said Lincoln would definitely use.
Mayotte was happy to see the event help out the animal shelter.
“I think it’s great that we come together as a community with the pets and everything,” Mayotte said.