4th annual Howl-o-Ween Puppy Palooza brings in the dogs
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Copperas Cove City Park went to the costumed dogs during the 4th annual Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza, hosted by Five Hills Royalty in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department Saturday morning.
The event raised more than $5,200 worth of pet food and supplies for the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter and was free to the public, with a request for a donation of cat food or dog food for entry. Five Hills Ambassador Emily Kimball co-chaired the event last year with former Junior Ambassador and Junior Miss Rabbit Fest Kaydence Weary, and was the sole chairperson for the event this year.
Kimball doesn’t have any pets of her own but that does not stop her from showing her love of animals. Her platform this year is ensuring the humane treatment of animals.
“I am very passionate [about the animal shelter] because when I go there, it hurts my heart to see so many dogs in there because I know there’s a loving home for them out there somewhere and they need to find it,” Kimball said.
Kimball is also working with her sister, Allyssa, who is the 2018 Young Miss Five Hills, in raising money to build a dog park in town.
Kimball said that while she won’t be hosting the event next year, she plans to come out to the event to enjoy it.
This year’s event saw a howling contest, a costume contest, an obstacle course for dogs, a one-mile route dog walk and the chance for dogs to take a dip in the pool, opened by the Parks and Recreation Department just for the morning.
Vendors included United K9 Academy; PAWS Humane Society, who had dogs available for adoption; and Spark of Life Foster and Kitten Rescue and Save A Pet Copperas Cove, who both had kittens available for adoption and to cuddle.
Before the dog walk started, Stephanie Moore, with the Copperas Cove Wal-Mart, presented a check for $500 to Kimball to be donated to the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter.
The individual who donated the largest amount of food and supplies was Preteen Miss Five Hills Briana Liles, who donated 660.5 pounds of food, 361 pounds of kitty litter and treats and toiletries and eight toys. Liles received a gift basket from Animal Medical Center.
The top five groups who donated supplies were the CCHS cheerleaders in fifth place, the CCJHS cheerleaders and National Junior Honor Society in fourth place, the CCHS FFA Chapter in third place, the Martin Walker Student Council in second place, and in first place, Girl Scout Troop #6226, which donated 571 pounds of food, 49 toys and 101 pounds of other items under the leadership of Kaydence Weary.
The Costume Contest saw everything from a human dressed like a pink poodle to a dog dressed like a spicy taco.
The contest had five winners- a Chairman’s Choice and 4th-1st place.
The Chairman’s Choice award, which included a gift basket from Doggie Day Spa, went to Sarah Kennedy, who was dressed as Snow White, and her dog Milo, who was dressed as the dwarf Happy.
Fourth place went to Trae Cunningham and his dog Tucker, who was dressed as a lumberjack, complete with a beard and little ax.
Third place went to John Jenkins and his dog Chili, who was dressed as a spicy taco.
Second place went to Aryan Bogle and her dog Mia, both of whom were dressed as fairies.
First place went to the man dressed as a gorilla and his beagle, Peach, who was dressed as a banana.
Winners received gift baskets from Pampered Pets and Pet Supplies Plus.
John Jenkins and his wife, Alexis, just moved to the area and said they enjoyed the walk and that Chili really liked all the other dogs.
Alexis shared that the taco costume was the only one Chili actually kept on.
“This is the only costume that she would wear,” Alexis said. “When we were trying on costumes at the pet store, she hated all of them except this one.”
Alexis added that she liked the fact that the Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza existed because they were always trying to find places that are dog friendly, so they can bring Chili with them.
David Wellington, Senior Animal Control Officer at the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter, said that the donations raised through Saturday’s event were very appreciated.
“It’s always great when people donate to the shelter because we work on limited budgets and every little donation that we can get truly helps out, especially food,” Wellington said. The shelter is always short on dry kitten food and dry puppy food, he added.
Wellington said that in addition to food and toys, blankets and towels were very much welcomed, especially with winter coming up. The shelter makes sure that all the animals have a blanket- without stuffing- during the winter months, he said. If someone were interested in donating beyond this event, they are welcome to come to the shelter, located at 1601 N. 1st St, to drop off their donation of food, toys or other items.
Wellington said he figured this year’s event raised about the same as last year’s.
“I appreciate everything the royalty do for us,” Wellington said. “They’re always coming out to help at our adoption events and a lot of times, we couldn’t do much without them, and so we really appreciate them.”