Dogs take over City Park
By PAMELA GRANT
Halloween was for the hounds this year, and proud pet owners and their pooches had a ‘paw’-some time at the 2017 Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza.
The event, cohosted by Five Hills Junior Ambassador Kaydence Weary and Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball of the Five Hills Royalty alongside the rest of the royalty, was held at the Copperas Cove City Park Saturday morning. They invited the dogs and/or their owners to participate in a dog walk, costume contest, hotdog eating contest, and more. All the funds raised by the event will directly benefit the Cove Animal Shelter.
In addition to raising funds via entry fees, the royalty also collected donations in the form of dog and cat food, bedding, toys, and monetary donations. The event was a big success despite the cold weather, raising approximately $7,200 for the shelter.
David Wellington, the senior Animal Control Officer for Copperas Cove, said that they really appreciate everyone who came out to Saturday’s event to support the shelter.
“The shelter is excited about all the citizens who support us,” said Wellington. “The dogs really appreciate it. The cats appreciate it. We couldn’t ask for more.”
Wellington said that thanks to the royalty’s past events, they’ve already made improvements to the dog and cat play areas of the shelter. Wellington said they would like to be able to buy new cat cages and further improve the dog play area with some of the funds raised at this year’s Pawlooza.
“I really like helping animals because they’re my favorite thing in the world. They’re just awesome companions,” said Five Hills Junior Ambassador Kaydence Weary (10). Weary said she adopted her dog, Ceaser, at last year’s event. “This is really fun. It’s really cool how everyone comes out to support the animals. It’s a good cause.”
“I joined Kaydence with this event because animals are very dear to my heart,” said Pre-Teen Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball (11). “When I first won the pageant, I didn’t know that I would be doing this. I didn’t know that I would make this much of a change, but now that I’m actually doing it, I feel like ‘Wow, I can actually make a change.’”
Even though it was cold, there was a lot of participation in this year’s event.
“It’s an event to do with the dogs. They don’t have many events for dogs…It’s a good thing for them to do. It lets them burn off energy,” said Jayla Joyner who brought her three dogs out to participate in the walk. Joyner said that before the walk, she made a donation to the Animal Shelter. Two of Joyner’s dogs are rescues. “I think it’s very important to rescue because there’s other loving animals that need a home and breeders are overdoing it at this point.”
Dozens of owners walked around the park alongside their furry companions.
“It was very nice. The water stations were excellent, and the people were super nice,” said Amy Bukszpan about the dog walk. “It seems like a really fantastic project that they have and I hope that they raise a lot of food and funds for the animals.”
Another popular part of the Pawlooza was the hotdog eating contest. They held contests for those 12 and under and for those 13 and older. Contestants practically inhaled hotdogs as they determined who could eat the most in two minutes. Winners received four tickets for premium seats at any Spurs game in Austin.
“I think it was pretty fun,” said Khia Horton (12) who won in the 12 and under division. She said the Sonic hotdogs were pretty tasty and was unsurprised that she won after eating two and a half hotdogs.
“It tasted really good. It was just a lot of eating. My jaws just hurt. I never ate so fast before,” said Andrew Chacon who emerged victorious in the 13 and older division after consuming three hotdogs in the short time limit. Chacon entered at the last minute after his friend encouraged him and his sister gave him the $3 needed to enter the contest. “I’m just really glad I did this,” said Chacon. “I got Spurs tickets.”
After the hotdog eating contest was the costume contest. Owners dressed their pets in a variety of creative ways. Contestants included an owner who dressed up like a pirate with her pooch dressed like a parrot, a pack of ‘lions’, several dressed as hotdogs, and more. The winning owner dressed her four dogs up as Harry Potter, Hermione, Dobby, and Sirius Black.
“I’m just enjoying myself. I enjoy dressing her up, and she enjoys being part of the community,” said Kelly Seals who brought her German Shepherd, Lala, to compete in the costume contest. Seals made Lala’s costume which consisted of a small stuffed German Shepherd in a stuffed car atop Lala’s back. Lala received 4th place in the contest. “I think it’s just a wonderful idea and I’m glad there’s such a good turnout.”