The annual dog-friendly event not only offered pet owners and their pooches the chance to get out and exercise, it also featured a day filled with non-stop excitement and fun. The four-legged park-goers were able to enjoy everything from doggie massages and caricatures to pedicures, photo-ops, and relay races. Along with all of the family-centered activities, fellow animal lovers were invited to experience the open air marketplace, showcasing endless amounts of product samples and dog supplies for their pet.
And what’s a pooch party without a walk? Bark in the Park also hosted a 5K walk that both pets and their parents were able to participate in – The Barking Lot’s personal favorite.
This year the event was held at the Stadium Green at Soldier Field, where hundreds of dogs and their families descended upon the Chicago lakefront prepared to have a “doggone” good time.
Bark in the Park is a tradition that’s been embraced by its dog-loving community right from the start. In fact, 2015 was the first time in 20 years that Bark in the Park was canceled due to canine influenza. Instead, the group created a virtual party online. iBark in the Park was developed so pet lovers could still participate by walking their dogs “at home.”
As the oldest and largest animal welfare organization, The Anti-Cruelty Society raises money from the event to help fulfill its mission: to build a community of caring by helping pets and educating people, to assist over 50,000 animals and humans every year, while including adoption, veterinary and low or no-cost spay/neutering services, humane education & community outreach, behavior helpline, dog training classes, S.A.F.E. program, rehab treatment and more.
According to David Dinger, The Anti-Cruelty Society’s vice president of operations, funds will also go toward helping homebound seniors feed their animals.
Dinger also shares that adoptions in Chicago are on the rise. Less than 40,000 dogs and cats are being placed in shelters – some of the lowest numbers in years, with many of those finding a forever home.
This year’s Bark in the Park event took place on May 21.