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5th annual Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza held at Copperas Cove City Park


Cove Leader-Press


For the fifth year in a row, the Copperas Cove City Park went to the dogs at the annual Howl-O-Ween Puppy Palooza on Saturday morning.

This year's event is the service project of Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts.

Entry to the event was free with a donation to the Copperas Cove Animal shelter. By the end of the event, two pickup trucks were overflowing with donated food and other pet items. On the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant Facebook page, it was revealed that the community had donated more than two tons of pet food. 

The festivities started at 8 a.m., with the 1-mile walk around the park beginning at 9 a.m. Cheerleaders from Copperas Cove Junior High and Copperas Cove High School cheered the dogs and their owners across the starting line and again as they finished. Students with the Copperas Cove National Honor Society and CCJHS National Honor Society hosted puppy rest stops for the dogs and their owners. 

Dogs dressed in costumes competed in the howling contest as well as a costume contest. Winners received prizes donated by local dog grooming salons and veterinary hospitals, while each competitor received a patriotic stuffed dog from Raising Cane’s. The furry four-legged friends were able to test their abilities with the obstacle course, ran by the Copperas Cove High School DECA chapter. 

Moment 2 Moment Photography provided free digital photographs of pups and their owners, while the Scotty Ray Band provided the musical entertainment for the morning. 

Awards were given to the group with the largest donation and the individual with the largest donation. The CCJHS National Honor Society received the award for largest group donation with a whopping 1,055 pounds of food donated plus a $120 cash donation. 

The winner with the largest individual donation was CCJHS cheerleader, 7th-grader Lillian Hoaglin, who managed to collect 950 pounds of food and donated an additional $125 in cash. 

Hoaglin said she provided $50 of her own money and then went door to door in her neighborhood, collecting more donations. She said she collected $133 the first day and up to $500 the next day. She then went to the pet store and purchased a bunch of dog and cat food and added in the rest of her cash to her donation. 

This year marked the first year attending the Howl ‘O’ Ween Puppy Palooza event, she said. 

“It makes me feel good, because I know Kaydence and I know how much she loves animals,” Hoaglin said about her donation. “When I did the pageant last year, my platform [of service] was animals, so I know how much they mean to her and her event and that it needed to be right.”

Hoaglin also had fun as a cheerleader, cheering on the dogs and their owners as they did the walk around the park, she said. 

Roberts had previously helped organize the event during its second year, when she was Junior Miss Rabbit Fest in 2016, and again served as chair in 2017. Coming back to plan the event a third time was great, she said. 

“It’s really great because I love seeing everybody come out, and I’m happy that all of the proceeds we get from this event go to the animals that need it,” Roberts said. 

She added that seeing all the people come out showed her that other people felt the same way she did about animals. 

Senior Animal Control Officer David Wellington was by the two trucks full of donated items for most of the event. 

“Our shelter runs off donated food and treats and everything, and so this makes a big difference when everybody donates this much,” Wellington said. 

Items that are donated that end up not being used by the shelter, like some of the bedding and toys, will distributed when residents come and adopt an animal, he added. 

Wellington estimated that since the first year five years ago, at least 4,000 pounds of food has been donated. 

“They always do a fantastic job here, and not only do they do this here, but the Royalty comes and help us during our free adoption events every month, so they really help the shelter out a lot,” Wellington said about the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant royalty. 

The Copperas Cove Animal Shelter holds a free adoption event each month, when adoption fees are waived. The shelter currently has 24 cats and about five dogs available for adoption, with more dogs expected to come from the impound side. 

Debra Dawson attended the event with her three English bulldogs, Sasha, Charlie and Ranger, who competed in the costume contest. Charlie was a reindeer and Ranger was an alligator. 

This was Dawson’s first time attending the event, she said. 

“I thought it was incredible,” Dawson said. “It was very organized, all different kinds of things to see. The dogs did great.”

Dawson said she thought it was nice to be able to give back to the dogs and cats at the shelter. 

“I do a lot of rescues, so to be able to come out and participate and be able to give back is very fulfilling,” she said. 

Her favorite part of the event was the howling contest, and the dogs had fun at the obstacle course, she said. 

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207