Puyallup to host charity dog walk and street fair

Bradley Lake Park is going to the dogs on Saturday, Aug. 23, when the South Hill Rotary Club presents its third annual Hounds on the Hill charity dog walk and street fair.

“It’s a great family event, a lot of good fun and it’s very low cost,” said Trish Cole, a co-chair of the event and member of South Hill Rotary Club.

Hounds on the Hill got its start in August of 2012. For the first two years, the Pierce College Puyallup campus hosted the charity event.

The one-day event serves as a marquee fundraiser for Puyallup South Hill Rotary’s two transitional housing units used by the nonprofit Helping Hand House, which helps homeless individuals and their families escape poverty.

“It also benefits the Puyallup Schools Scholarship Fund and the Pierce College Scholarship Foundation,” Cole said. “We wanted to bring a large community event to South Hill Puyallup. Our budget is strictly expenses; whatever is left over goes to charity.”

Gary Larson, the owner of South Hill Veterinary Clinic, said South Hill Rotary was looking to create an innovative fundraiser different from the typical auction.

“We thought an auction could become stale,” Larson said. “We wanted something that could be the signature event on South Hill.”

The event has become just that.

The program on Aug. 23 will start at 9 a.m. and go until 3 p.m. at Bradley Lake Park, 531 31st Ave. S.E.

It will include a two-mile dog walk, games and contests, dog demonstrations and a pet-friendly street fair.

Cole said registration begins at 9 a.m. and the two-mile walk begins at 9:30 a.m. at the picnic area. The walk will continue around the park and come back twice to the picnic area. Registration is $20 for an owner and dog.

“An additional dog is $10, with a limit of two dogs per registrant,” Cole said.

Each registrant receives a goodie bag. All breeds are welcome and must be on a leash at all times. Also, park rules – including cleaning up after your dog need to be followed, Cole explained.

Along the walk will be four event stations spread out where dogs will perform a task. The task stations were created by Interact, a group of young students at Emerald Ridge High School. Centralized in the park will be up to 50 dog-related vendors, as well as a couple food vendors for humans. Participants will receive a paw pass, and can visit each vendor to get the paw pass stamped. A full pass turned in gets the registrant a prize. In addition to the vendors, there will be various games such as the Doggie Dash, the Dog Bob, Splash Dash and Puppy Polo.

All games and contests are free, except the Dog Bob, which costs $2 per dog. The Dog Bob is where dogs grab for a tennis ball out of a pool of water and each ball is tied to a certain item of value up $20, such as a gift card. Demonstrations will include Pierce County K-9 and Petco. Contests will feature a look-alike contest, best kisser, best trick and best dressed.

“In the past, we have had close to 300 owners and their dogs attend,” Cole said. “We’re hoping for more participants, since it’s at Bradley Lake Park.”

What is most enduring and fun about the event is the interaction that is created between people and their dogs who attend, he added.

“It’s a really fun event,” Larson said. “When people are there with their dogs, it causes other people to talk. It brings people together.”

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