A paw-some day in the park

Published 8:16 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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Residents and their four-legged friends came out to strut their stuff during the Suffolk Humane Society’s 15th annual Mutt Strut Festival held at Bennett’s Creek Park on Saturday. The event saw adorable dogs enjoy themselves with plenty of activities, including an agility course, eating Salty Paws ice cream and a dog talent contest. Attendees also enjoyed themselves with a K-9 training demonstration provided by the Suffolk Police Department, children’s activities, food vendors, and groovy tunes by local band SoulIntent performing hits such as “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire and Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas.

While receiving donations for the society, Suffolk Humane Society Board Member and Volunteer Sarah Tatum expressed her hopes of the festival bringing people together.

“I hope we’re just bringing animal lovers together, and with this tent, I hope we’re able to provide space for people to get things that they might need that they don’t already have,” she said. “I just hope it’s a good time for the animals.”

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On the festival’s 15th year, President of the Suffolk Humane Society Margie Wiley, expressed what the nearly two-decade milestone means to her.

“That the Suffolk community can get behind something that is wonderful for taking care of our animals and our pets and show appreciation for an independent establishment, 501C3 like the Suffolk Humane Society … 15 years going strong is wonderful,” said Wiley.

Lastly, she talked about what will take away from the yearly event.

“So I hope that people can come out and be outside with their dogs and their dogs can socialize. They get a chance to interact with other dogs, they get a chance to also run a lure course … you also get a chance to see some of the local vendors who are available to take care of your animals,” Wiley said. “I think it’s just a great way for people to come out and enjoy the day with their pets.