Picnic looks to help city’s dog rescue program

Tim Wieclawski/metro ottawa


Erik Miller gets some love from Molly, his five-year-old black Labrador, before the musical dogs competition of yesterday’s BARK Dog and Family Picnic.

The competition was fierce. It was dog eat dog.

Dog eat hotdog, but that was only during the bobbing for hotdogs event at yesterday’s first annual BARK dog and family picnic in the arboretum in the Central Experimental Farm.

The event is a fundraiser for the Bytown Association for Rescued Kanines (BARK), a group that rescues abandoned or mistreated dogs and attempts to find a new permanent home for them.

BARK president Sharon McKeil said the association’s annual veterinarian bill is around $170,000 and, as a charity, it is always looking for new ways to help cover those costs.

McKeil said there has never been a dog and family picnic in Ottawa as a fundraiser, but she knew there was a place for it in the city.

More than 100 dogs and owners were in the park yesterday to socialize and compete in contests like curliest tail, best tail-wagger, best smile and a dog/owner look-alike event.

Many owners found their dogs through BARK and were happy to be able to give back to the association.

Tamara Stokes brought her three-year-old black Labrador/Rottweiler mix, Sarny, to the picnic to support BARK. Stokes has two dogs from the BARK, attended the “Woofs and Wags” walk-a-thon and said she tries to attend anything to support the association.

Erik Miller’s five-year-old black Lab Molly was one of the winners in the musical dogs event.

He said he would like to see more social picnics put on by people in the dog-owner community.

high hopes

  • BARK President Sharon McKeil is already expecting the picnic will be twice as big next year and she does not think there will be room for it in the arboretum at the Central Experimental Farm.

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